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Ail rigktt retervtd 




Editor's Introduction . . xi 

Preface ....... i 

Introduction ...... 6 

I. Of the division of Philosophy . .6 

II. Of the realm of Philosophy in general .10 

III. Of the Kritik of Judgment as a means . of combining 

the two parts of Philosophy into a whole -13 

IV. Of Judgment as a faculty legislating a ^rrorr' , . 16 
^ V. The principle of the formal purposiveness of nature 

is a transcendental principle of Judgment . .19 

-^ VI. Of the combination of the feeling of pleasure with 

the concept of the purposiveness of nature . 26 

_ VII. Of the xsthetical representation of the purposiveness of 

nature .29 

VIII. Of the logical representation of the purposiveness of 

nature . . .34 

IX. Of the connection of the legislation of Understanding 

with that of Reason by means of the Judgment . 38 

First Part. — Kritik of the ^Esthetical Judgment 43 

First DivisioiL — Analytic of the .^sthetical Judgment 45 

First Book. — Analytic of the Beautiful -45 

First Moment of the judgment of taste, according to quality . 45 
g I. The judgment of taste is festhetical . . .45 

§ 2. The satis&ction which determines the judgment of 

taste is disinterested ^ .46 

§ 3. The satisfaction in the pleasant is bound up with 

interest ... . . .48 

§ 4. The satisfaction in the good is bound up with interest 50 


§ 5. Comparision of the three speciBcally different kinds 

of satisfaction . . -53 

5'tff(7«rf^(7Wf/;/ofthe judgment of taste, viz. according toquantity 55 

§ 6. The Beautiful is that which apart from concepts is 

represented as the object of a universal satisfaction . 5 5 

§ 7. Comparison of the Beautiful with the Pleasant and 

the Good by means of the above characteristic 5 7 

§ 8. The universality of the satisfaction is represented in 

a judgment of Taste only as subjective 59 

§ 9. Investigation of the question whether in a judgment 
of taste the feeling of pleasure precedes or follows 
the judging of the object . . .63 

Third Moment of judgments of taste according to the relation 
of the purposes which are brought into consideration 
in them . .67 

§10. Of purposiveness in general . .67 

§ II. The judgment of taste has nothing at its basis but 
the form of the purposiveness of an object (or of its 
mode of representation) , 69 

§12, The judgment of taste rests on rt ^r/'tJ^r grounds . 70 

§ 13. The pure judgment of taste is independent of charm 

and emotion . .72 

§ 14. Elucidation by means of examples -73 

§ 1 5. The judgment of taste is quite independent of the 

concept of perfection . - 77 

§ 16. The judgment of taste, by which an object is declared 
to be beautiful under the condition of a definite 
concept, is not pure .81 

§17. Of the Ideal of Beauty . 84 

Fourth Moment of the judgment of taste, according to the 

modality of the satisfaction in the object -91 

§ 18. What the modality in a judgment of taste is . 91 

§ 19. The subjective necessity which we ascribe to the 

judgment of taste is conditioned . -92 

§ 20. The condition of necessity which a judgment of 

taste asserts is the Idea of a common sense 92 

§ 21. Have we ground for presupposing a common sense? 93 

§ 22. The necessity of the universal agreement that is 
thought in a judgment of taste is a subjective 
necessity, which is represented as objective under 
the presupposition of a common sense 94 



General remark on the first section of the Analytic . g6 

Second Book. — Analytic of the Sublime . . . loi 

§ 23. Transition from the faculty which judges of the 

Beautiful to that which judges of the Sublime loi 

g 24. Of the divisions of an investigation into the feeling of 

the SubUme . . . ,105 

A, — Of the Mathematically Sublime . . 106 

§25. Explanation of the term " Sublime " . ro6 

§ 26. Of that estimation of the magnitude of natural things 

which is requisite for the Idea of the Sublime 1 10 

g 27. Of the quality of the satisfaction in our judgments 

upon the Sublime . . .119 

B. — Of the Dynamically Sublime in Nature . .123 

§28. Of Nature regarded as Might . 123 

§ 29. Of the modality of the judgment upon the sublime in 

nature . . . . .130 

General remark upon the exposition of the assthetical reflective 

Judgment . .132 

Deduction of [pure] sesthetical judgments . i 50 

§ 30. The Deduction of assthetical judgments on the objects 
of nature must not be directed to what we call 
Sublime in nature, but only to the Beautiful i 50 

§31. Of the method of deduction of judgments of taste 152 

§32. First peculiarity of the Judgment of taste .154 

§ 33. Second peculiarity of the judgment of taste . -157 

§ 34. There is no objective principle of taste possible . i 59 

§ 35. The principle of Taste is the subjective principle of 

Judgment in general . , i6r 

§ 36. Of the problem of a Deduction of judgments of Taste 162 
§ 37. What is properly asserted a priori of an object in a 

judgment of taste . . . 1 64 

g 38. Deduction of judgments of taste . 165 

§ 39. Of the communicability of a sensation .167 

§40. Of taste as a kind of J^WJ'ttJ' ^■o»/;na/«> .169 

§41. Of the empirical interest in the Beautiful -173 

§ 42. .Of the intellectual interest in the Beautiful .176 

§43. Of Art in general -183 

§44. Of beautiful Art . .185 

§ 45. Beautiful art is an art in so far as it seems like nature 187 
§46. Beautiful art is the art of genius .188 


§ 47. Elucidation and confirmation of the above explanation 

of Genius ..... 
§ 48. Of the relation of Genius to Taste 
§ 49. Of the faculties of the mind that constitute Genius 
§ 50. Of the combination of Taste with Genius in the products 

of beautiful Art .... 
§51. Of the division of the beautiful arts . 
§ 52. Of the combination of beautiful arts in one and the 

same product .... 

§ 53. Comparison of the respective aesthetical worth of the 

beautiful arts .... 

§ 5'4. Remark ..... 

Second Division. — Dialectic of the ^sthetical Judgment 


§ 56. Representation of the antinomy of Taste 

§ 57. Solution of the antinomy of Taste 

§ 58. Of the Idealism of the purposiveness of both Nature 
and Art as the unique principle of the aesthetical 
Judgment ..... 

§ 59. Of Beauty as the symbol of Morality 

% 60. Appendix. — Of the method of Taste 

Second Part. — Kritik of the Teleological Judgment 
§ 61. Of the objective purposiveness of Nature 












First Division. — Analytic of the Teleological Judgment 
§ 62. Of the objective purposiveness which is merely formal 

as distinguished from that which is material . 262 

§ 63. Of the relative, as distinguished from the inner, 

purposiveness of nature .... 268 
§ 64. Of the peculiar character of things as natural purposes 272 
§ 65. Things regarded as natural purposes are organised 

beings ...... 275 

§ 66. Of the principle of judging of internal purposiveness 

in organised beings .... 280 

§ 67. Of the principle of the teleological judging of nature 

in general as a system of purposes . . . 382 

§ 68. Of the principle of Teleology as internal principle of 

natural science ..... 287 



Second Division. — Dialectic of the Teleological Judgment 
§ 69. What is an antinomy of the Judgment ? 
§70. Representation of this antinomy 
§ 71. Preliminary to the solution of the above antinomy 
§ 72. Of the different systems which deal with the purposive 

ness of Nature .... 
§ 73- None of the above systems give what they pretend 

§ 74. The reason that we cannot treat the concept of a 
Technic of nature dogmatically is the fact that a 
natural purpose is inexplicable 

§ 75. The concept of an objective purposiveness of nature 
is a critical principle of Reason for the reflective 
Judgment ...... 

§ 76. Remark ...... 

§ 77. Of the peculiarity of the human Understanding by 
means of which the concept of a natural purpose is 
possible ...... 

§ 78. Of the union of the principle of the universal 
mechanism of matter with the teleological principle 
in the Technic of nature .... 


298 y^ 





Appendix. — Methodology of the Teleological Judgment 334' 

§ 79- Whether Teleology must be treated as if it belonged to 

the doctrine of nature .... 334 

§ 80. Of the necessary subordination of the mechanical to 
the teleological principle in the explanation of a 
thing as a natural purpose .... 336 

g 81. Of the association of mechanism with the teleological 
principle in the explanation of a natural purpose as a 
natural product ..... 342 

§ 82. Of the teleological system in the external relations of 

organised beings ..... 346 

§ 83. Of the ultimate purpose of nature as a teleological 

system . ... . . 352 

§ 84. Of the iinal purpose of the existence of a world, i.e. 

of creation itself ..... 359 

§85. Of Physico-theology .... 362 


§ 86. Of Ethico-theology .... 

§ 87. Of the moral proof of the Being of God 

§ 88. Limitation of the validity of the moral proof . 

§ 89. Of the use of the moral argument 

§ 90. Of the kind of belief in a teleological proof of the 
Being of God .... 

§ 91. Of the kind of belief produced by a practical faith 
General remark on Teleology 





There are not wanting indications that public in- 
terest in the Critical Philosophy has been quickened 
of recent days in these countries, as well as in 
America. To lighten the toil of penetrating through 
the wilderness of Kant's long sentences, the English 
student has now many aids, which those who 
began their studies fifteen or twenty years ago did 
not enjoy. Translations, paraphrases, criticisms, 
have been published in considerable numbers ; so 
that if it is not yet true that *' he who runs may 
read," it may at least be said that a patient student 
of ordinary industry and intelligence has his way 
made plain before him. And yet the very number 
of aids is dangerous. Whatever may be the value 
of short and easy handbooks in other departments of 
science, it is certain that no man will become a 
philosopher, no man will even acquire a satisfactory 
knowledge of the history of philosophy, without 
personal and prolonged study of the ipsissima verba 
of the great masters of human thought. " Above 
all," said Schopenhauer, " my truth-seeking young 
friends, beware of letting our professors tell you 



what is contained in the Kritik of the Pure Reason " ; 
and the advice has not become less wholesome with 
the lapse of years. The fact, however, that many 
persons have not sufficient familiarity with German 
to enable them to study German Philosophy in the 
original with ease, makes translations an educa- 
tional necessity ; and this translation of Kant's 
Kritik of the faculty of Judgment has been under- 
taken in the hope that it may promote a more 
general study of that masterpiece. If any reader 
wishes to follow Schopenhauer's advice, he has only 
to omit the whole of this prefatory matter and 
proceed at once to the Author's laborious Intro- 

It is somewhat surprising that the Kritik of 
Judgment has never yet been made accessible to 
the English reader. Dr. Watson has indeed trans- 
lated a few selected passages, so also has Dr. Caird 
in his valuable account of the Kantian philosophy, 
and I have found their renderings of considerable 
service ; but the space devoted by both writers to 
the Kritik of Judgment is very small in comparison 
with that given to the Kritiks of Pure and Practical 
Reason. And yet the work is not an unimportant 
one. Kant himself regarded it as the coping-stone 
of his critical edifice ; it even formed the point of 
departure for his successors, Fichte, Schelling and 
Hegel, in the construction of their respective 
systems. Possibly the reason of its comparative 
neglect lies in its repulsive style, Kant was never 
careful of style, and in his later yeare he became 



more and more enthralled by those technicalities 
and refined distinctions which deter so many from 
the Critical Philosophy even in its earlier sections. 
These "symmetrical architectonic amusements," as 
Schopenhauer called them, encumber every page of 
Kant's later writings, and they are a constant source 
of embarrassment to his unhappy translator. For, 
as every translator knows, no single word in one 
language exactly covers any single word in another ; 
and yet if Kant's distinctions are to be preserved it 
is necessary to select with more or less arbitrariness 
English equivalents for German technical terms, and 
retain them all through. Instances of this will be 
given later on ; I only remark here on the fact that 
Kant's besetting sin of over-technicality is especi- 
ally conspicuous in this treatise. 

Another fault — an old fault of Kant — apparent 
after reading even a few pages, is that repetitions 
are very frequent of the same thought in but slightly 
varied language. Arguments are repeated over and 
over again until they become quite wearisome ; and 
then when the reader's attention has flagged, and 
he is glancing cursorily down the page> some im- 
portant new point is introduced without emphasis, 
as if the author were really anxious to keep his 
meaning to himself at all hazards. A book written 
in such fashion rarely attracts a wide circle of 
readers. And yet. not only did Goethe think 
highly of it, but it received a large measure of 
attention in France as well as in Germany on its 
first appearance. Originally published at Berlin in 




1790, a Second Edition was called for in 1793 ; and 
a French translation was made by Imhoff in 1796. 
Other French versions are those by Keratry and 
Weyland in 1823, and by Bami in 1S46. This 
last I have had before me while performing my 
task, but I have not found It of much service ; the 
older French translations J have not seen. The 
existence of these French versions, when taken in 
connection with the absence until very recently of 
any systematic account of the Kritik of Judgment 
in F-nglish, may be perhaps explained by the lively 
interest that was taken on the Continent in the 
Philosophy of Art in the early part of the century ; 
whereas scientific studies on this subject received 
little attention in England during the same period. 

The student of the Kritik of Pure Reason will 
remember how closely, in his Transcendental Logic, 
Kant follows the lines of the ordinar)' logic of the 
schools. He finds his whole plan ready made for 
him. as it were ; and he proceeds to work out the 
metaphysical principles which underlie the process 
of syllogistic reasoning. And as there are three 
propositions in every syllogism, he points out that, 
in correspondence with this triplicity, the higher 
faculties of the soul may be regarded as threefold. 
The Understanding or the faculty of concepts 
gives us our major premiss, as It supplies us in 
the first instance with a general notion. By means 
of the Judgment we see that a particular case comes 
under the general rule, and by the Reason we draw 
our conclusion. These, as three distinct move- 



menis in the process of reasoning, are regarded by 
Kani as indicating three distinct facuhies, with 
which the Analytic of Concepts, the Analytic of 
Principles, and the Dialectic are respectively con- 
cerned. The full significance of this important 
classification does not seem, however, to have 
occurred to Kant at the time, as we may see from 
the order in which he wrote his great books.' The 
first problem which arrests the attention of all 
modern philosophers is, of course, the problem of 
knowledge, its conditions and its proper objects. 
And in the Kritik of Pure Reason this is dis- 
cussed, and the conclusion is reached that nature as 
phenomenon is the only object of which we can 
hope to acquire any exact knowledge. But it is 
apparent that there are other problems which merit 
consideration ; a complete philosophy includes prac- 
tice as well as theory ; it has to do not only with 
logic, but with life. And thus the Kritik of Practical 
Reason was written, in which is unfolded the doctrine 
of man's freedom standing in sharp contrast with the 
necessity of natural law. Here, then, it seems at 
first sight as if we had covered the whole field of 
human activity. For we have investigated the 
sources of knowledge, and at the same time have 
pointed out the conditions of practical life, and have 
seen that the laws of freedom are just as true in their 
own sphere as are the laws of nature. 

* Dr. Cainl {Critical Philosophy of Kant, vol. ii. p. 406) has given 
an insmictive account of the gradual development in Kant's mind of 
the main idea ofibe Kritik of Judgment. 


xr^yrs A'x/r/AT of judgme^^t 

But as we reflect on our mental states we find 
that here no proper account has been given of the 
phenomena o{ feeling, which play so large a part in 
experience. And this Kant saw before he had pro- 
ceeded very far with the Kritik of Practical Reason ; 
and in consequence he adopted a threefold classifi- 
cation of the higher mental faculties based on that 
given by previous psychologists. Knowledge, feel- 
ing, desire, these are the three ultimate modes of 
consciousness, of which the second has not yet been 
described. And when we compare this with the 
former triple division which we took up from the 
Aristotelian logic, we see that the parallelism is 
significant. Understanding is par excellence the 
faculty of knowledge, and Reason the facult}' of 
desire (these points are developed in Kant's 
first two Kritiks). And this suggests that the 
Judgment corresponds to the feeling of pleasure 
and pain ; it occupies a position intermediate be- 
tween Understanding and Reason, just as, roughly 
speaking, the feeling of pleasure is intermediate 
between our perception of an object and our desire 
to possess it. 

And so the Kritik of Judgment completes the 
whole undertaking of criticism ; its endeavour is to 
show that there are a priori principles at the basis 
of Judgment just as there are in the case of Under- 
standing and of Reason ; that these principles, like 
the principles of Reason, are not constitutive but 
only regulative of experience, i.e. that they do not 
teach us anything positive about the characteristics 



of objects, but only indicate the conditions under 
which we find it necessary to view them ; and 
lastly, that we are thus furnished with an a priori 
philosophy of pleasure. 

V The fundamental principle underlying the pro- 
cedure of ihe judgment is seen to be that of the 
purposiveness of Nature ; nature is everywhere 
adapted to ends or purposes, and thus constitutes 
a k6vhov, a well-ordered whole. By this means, 
nature is regarded by us as if its particular empirical 
laws were not isolated and disparate, but connected 
and in relation, deriving their unity in seeming 
diversity from an intelligence which is at the source 
of nature. It is only by the assumption of such a 
principle that we can construe nature to ourselves ; 
and the principle is then said to be a transcendental 
condition of the exercise of our judging facuky, but 
valid only for the reflective, not for the determinant 
Judgment. It gives us pleasure to view nature in 
this way ; just as the contemplation of chaos would 
be painful. 

But this purposiveness may be only formal and 
subjective, or real and objective. I n some cases the 
purposiveness resides in the felt harmony and 
accordance of the form of the object with the cog- 
nitive faculties ; in others the form of the object is 
judged to harmonise with the purpose in view in its 
existence. That is to say, in the one case we judge 
the form of the object to be purposive, as in the 
of a flower, but could not explain any purpose 
rved by it; in the other case we have a definite 




notion of what it is adapted for. In the former case 
the aesthctical Judgment is brouglu to bear, in the 
latter the teleological ; and it thus appears that the 
Krilik of Judgment has two main divisions ; it treats 
first of the philosophy of Taste, the Beautiful and 
the Sublime in Nature ; and secondly, of the Teleo- 
logy of nature's working. It Is a curious literary 
I>arallel that S. Augustine hints {Confessions iv. 15) 
that he had written a book, De Pulckro et Apto, in 
which these apparently distinct topics were com- 
bined; "pulchrum esse, quod per se ipsum ; 
aptum, autem, quod ad allquid accommodacum 
deceret." A beautiful object has no purpose 
external to itself and the observer ; but a useful 
object serves further ends. Both, however, may be 
brought under the higher category of things that are 
reckoned /«r/^5Zf'^ by the Judgment 

We have here then, in the first place, a basis for 
an a prwri Philosophy of Taste ; and Kanl works 
out its details with great elaboration. He borrowed 
litde from the writings of his predecessors, but 
struck out, as was ever his plan, a line of his own^ 
He quotes with approval from Burke's Treatise on 
tlie Sublime and Beau/i/ul. which was accessible to 
him in a German translation ; but is careful to 
remark that it is as psychology, not as philosophy, 
that Burke's work has value. He may have read 
in addition Hutcheson's Inquiry which had also 
been translated into German ; and he was complete 
master of Hume's opinions. Of other writers on 
Beauty, he only names Batteux and Leasing. 



Batteux was a French writer of repute who had 
attempted a twofold arrangement of the Arts as 
they may be brought under Space and under Time 
respectively, a mode of classification which would 
naturally appeal to Kant. He does not seem, 
however, to have read the ancient text - book 
on the subject, Aristotle's Poetics, the principles 
of which Lessing declared to be as certain as 

Following the guiding thread of the categories, he 
declares that the aesthetical judgment about Beauty 
is according to quaiity disinterested ; a point which 
had been laid down by such different writers 
as Ilutcheson and Moses Mendelssohn. As to 
qitanliiy, the judgment about beauty gives universal 
satisfaction, although it is based on no definite 
concept. The universality is only subjective ; 
but still it is there. The maxim Trahit sua gnernque 
voluptas does not apply to the pleasure afforded by 
a pure judgment about beauty. As to relation, the 
characteristic of the object called beautiful is that it 
betrays a purposiveness without definite purpose. 
The pleasure is a priori, independent on the one 
hand of the charms of sense or the emotions of mere 
feeling, as Winckelmann had already declared ; and 
on the other hand is a pleasure quite distinct from 
that taken which we feel when viewing perfection, 
with which Wolff and Baumgarten had identified it. 
By his distinction between free and dependent 
beaut>', which we also find in the pages of Hutche- 
son, Kant further develops his doctrine of the 



freedom of the pure judgment of taste from the 
thraldom of concepts. 

Finally, the satisfaction afforded by the contem- 
plation of a beautiful object is a necessary satisfaction. 
This necessity is not, to be sure, theoretical like the 
necessity attaching to the Law of Causality; nor is it a 
practical necessity as is the need to assume the Moral 
Law as the guiding principle of conduct. But it may 
be called excmpiary ; that is, we may set up our satis- 
faction in a beautiful picture as setting an example 
to be followed by others. It is plain, however, that 
this can only be assumed under certain presupposi- 
tions. We must presuppose the idea of a sensits com- 
mitnis or common sense in which all men share. As 
knowledge admits of being communicated to others, 
so also does the feeling for beauty. For the relation 
between the cognitive faculties requisite for Taste 
is also requisite for Intelligence or sound Under- 
standing, and as we always presuppose the latter to 
be the same in others as in ourselves, so may we 
presuppose the former. 

The analysis of the Sublime which follows that 
of the Beautiful is interesting and profound ; indeed 
Schopenhauer regarded it as the best part of the 
Kritik of the Aesthetical Judgment The general 
characteristics of our judgments about the Sublime 
are similar to those already laid down in the case 
of the Beautiful ; but there are marked differences 
in the two cases. If the pleasure taken in beauty 
arises from a feeling of the purposlveness of the 
object in its relation to the subject, that in sublimity 



rather expresses a purposiveness of ttie subject in 
respect of the object. Nothing in nature Is sub- 
lime ; and the sublimity really resides in the mind 
and there alone. Indeed, as true Beauty is found, 
properly speaking, only in beauty of form, the idea 
of sublimity is excited rather by those objects which 
are formless and exhibit a violation of purpose. 

A distinction not needed in the case of the 
Beautiful becomes necessary when we proceed to 
further analyse the Sublime. For in aestheiical 
judgments about the Beautiful the mind is in restful 
contemplation ; but in the case of the Sublime a 
mental mm'€7nent is excited (pp. 105 and 120). This 
movement, as it is pleasing, must involve a purposive- 
ness in the harmony of the mental powers ; and the 
purposiveness may be either in reference to the facuhy 
of cognition or to that of desire. In the former case 
the sublime is called the Mathematical Sublime — the 
sublime of mere magnitude — the absolutely great ; in 
the latter it is the sublime of power, the Dynamically 
Sublime. Gioberti, an Italian writer on the philo- 
sophy of Taste, has pushed this distinction so far as 
to find in it an explanation of the relation between 
Beauty and Sublimity. " The dynamical Sublime," 
he says, "creates the Beautiful; the mathematical 
Sublime contains it." a remark with which probably 
Kanl would have no quarrel. 

In both cases, however, we find that the feel- 
ing of the Sublime awakens in us a feeling of 
the supersensible destination of man. " The very 
capacity of conceiving the sublime," he tells us, 



*' indicates a mental faculty that far surpasses 
every standard of sense." And to explain the 
necessity belonging to our judgments about the 
sublime, Kant points out that as we find ourselves 
compelled to postulate a sensus communis to account 
for the agreement of men in their appreciation of 
beautiful objects, so the principle underlying their 
consent in judging of the sublime is *' the presup- 
position of the moral feeling in man." The feeling 
of the sublimity of our own moral destination is the 
necessary prerequisite for forming such judgments. 
The connection between Beauty and Goodness in- 
volved to a Greek in the double sense of the word 
«aW is developed by Kant with keen insight. To 
feel interest in the beauty of Nature he regards 
as a mark of a moral disposition, though he will not 
admit that the same inference may be drawn as 
to the character of the art connoisseur (§ 42). But 
it is specially with reference to the connection be- 
tween the capacity for appreciating the Sublime, and 
the moral feeling, that the originality of Kant's treat- 
ment becomes apparent. 

The objects of nature, he continues, which we 
call sublime, inspire us with a feeling of pain rather 
than of pleasure ; as Lucretius has it — 

Me quaedam di«na voluptas 
Percipit atque horror. 

But this "horror" must not inspire actual fear. 
As no extraneous charm must mingle with the 
satisfaction felt in a beautiful object, if the judg- 


ment about beauty is to remain pure ; so in the 
case of the sublime we must not be afraid of the 
object which yet in certain aspects is fearful. 

This conception of the feelings of sublimity 
excited by the loneliness of an Alpine peak or the 
grandeur of an earthquake is now a familiar one ; 
but it was not so in Kant's day. Switzerland had 
not then become the recreation-ground of Europe ; 
and though naturd.1 beauty was a familiar topic with 
poets and painters it was not generally recognised 
that taste has also to do with the sublime. De 
Saussure's Travels, Haller's poem Die Alpen, and 
this work of Kant's mark the beginning of a new 
epoch in our ways of looking at the sublime and 
terrible aspects of Nature. And it is not a little 
remarkable that the man who could write thus 
feelingly about the emotions inspired by grand and 
savage scenery, had never seen a mountain in 
his life. The power and the insight of his 
observations here are in marked contrast to the 
poverty of some of his remarks about the character- 
istics of beauty. For instance, he puts forward the 
curious doctrine that colour in a picture is only an 
extraneous charm, and does not really add to the 
beauty of the form delineated, nay rather distracts 
the mind from it. His criticisms on this point, if 
sound, would make Flaxman a truer artist than 
Titian or Paolo Veronese. But indeed his discussion 
of Painting or Music is not very appreciative ; he 
was, to the end, a creature of pure Reason. 

Upon the analysis he gives of the Arts, little 



need be said here. Fine Art is regarded as the 
Art of Genius, " that innate mental disposition 
through which Nature gives the rule to Art" (§ 46). 
Art differs from Science in the absence of definite 
concepts in the mind of the artist. It thus happens 
that the great artist can rarely communicate his 
methods ; indeed he cannot explain them even to 
himself. Poeta nascUur, non fit ; and the same Is 
true in every form of fine art. Genius is, \\\ short, 
the faculty of presenting aesthetical Ideas ; an 
aesthetical Idea being an intuition of the Imagina- 
tion, to which no concept is adequate. And it 
is by the excitation of such ineffable Ideas that a 
great work of art affects its. As Bacon tells us, 
" that is the best part of Beauty which a picture 
cannot express ; no, nor the first sight of the eye." 
This characteristic of the artistic genius has been 
noted by all who have thought upon art ; more is 
present in its productions than can be perfectly 
expressed in language. As Pliny said of Timanthus 
the painter of Iphigenta, " In omnibus ejus operibus 
intclligitur plus super quam pingitur." But this 
genius requires to be kept in check by taste ; quite 
in the spirit of the ata^aavvri of the best Greek art, 
Kant remarks that if in a work of art some feature 
must be sacrificed, it is better to lose something of 
genius than to violate the canons of taste. It is in 
this self-mastery that "the sanity of true genius" 
expresses itself. 

The main question with which the Kritik of 
Judgment is concerned is, of course, the question as 



to the purposiveness, the ZtmckmUssigkeit, exhibited 
by nature. That nature appears to be full of 
purpose is mere matter of fact. It displays pur- 
posiveness in res[>ect of our faculties of cognition, 
in those of its phenomena which we designate 
beautiful. And also in its organic products we 

>bserve methods of operation which we can only 

'explain by describing them as processes in which 

means are used to accomplish certain ends, as 

)rocesses that are purposive. In our observation 
of natural phenomena, as Kuno Fischer puts it, we 
judge their forms aesthetically, and their life teleo- 

As regards the first kind of ZweckmAssigkeit, 
that which is ohne Zweck — the purposiveness of a 
beautiful object which does not seem to be directed 
to any external end — there are two ways in which we 
may account for it. We may either say that it was 
actually designed to be beautiful by the Supreme 
Force behind Nature, or we may say that purposive- 
ness is not really resident in nature, but that our 
perception of it is due to the subjective needs of our 
judging faculty. We have to contemplate beautiful 
objects as j/'ihey were purposive, but they may not 
be so in reality. And this latter idealistic doctrine is 
what Kant falls back upon. He api^eals in support 
rof it. to the phenomena of crystallisation (pp. 243 
\sqq.\ in which many very beautiful forms seem 
to be produced bj' merely mechanical processes. 
The beauty of a rock crystal is apparently produced 
without any forethought on the part of nature, and 


KANrs A'^rr/x of judgment 

he urges that we are not justified in asserting 
dogmatically that any laws distinct from those of 
mechanism are needed to account for beauty in 
other cases. Mechanism can do so much ; may it 
not do all ? And he brings forward as a considera- 
tion which ought to settle the question, the fact that 
in judging of beauty " we invariably seek its gauge 
in ourselves a priori^' -, we do not learn from nature, 
but from ourselves, what we are to find beautiful. 
Mr. Kennedy in his Donnellan Lectures has here 
pointed out several weak spots in Kant's armour. In 
the first place, the fact that we seek the gauge of 
beauty in our own mind "may be shown from his 
own definition to be a necessary result of the ver)' 
nature of beauty." ' For Kant tells us that the 
aesthetical judgment about beauty always involves 
"a reference of the representation to the subject" ; 
and this applies equally to judgments about the 
beautiful in Art and the beautiful in Nature. But 
no one could maintain that from this definition it 
follows that we are not compelled to postulate design 
in the mind of the artist who paints a beautiful 
picture. And thus as the fact that " we always seek 
the gauge of beauty " in ourselves does not do away 
with the belief in a designing mind when we are 
contemplating works of art, it cannot be said to 
exclude the belief in a Master Hand which moulded 
the forms of Nature. As Cicero has it, nature is 
*'non artificiosa solum, sed plane artifex." But the 
cogency of this reasoning, for the details of which I 

1 Natural Thmlogy and Motltm Thought, p. 158, 



must refer the reader to Mr. Kennedy's pages, 
becomes more apparent when we reflect on that 
second form of purposiveness, viz. adaptation to 
definite ends, with which we meet in the phenomena 
of organic life. 

If we watch, e.g,, the growth of a tree we per- 
ceive that its various parts are not isolated and 
unconnected, but that on the contrary they are only 
possible by reference to the idea of the whole. Each 
limb affects every other, and is reciprocally affected by 
it; inshort "in such a protluct of nature every part not 
only exists by means ^the other parts, but is thought 
as existing /(^r///^ sake oJxXmi others and the whole" 
(p. 277). The operations of nature in organised 
bodies seem to be of an entirely different character 
from mere mechanical processes; we cannot construe 
them to ourselves except under the hypothesis that 
nature in them is working towards a designed end. 
The distinction between nature's " Technic " or 
purposive operation, and nature's Mechanism is 
fundamental for the explanation of natural law. 
The language of biology eloquently shows the 
impossibility of eliminating at least the idea of 
purpose from our investigations into the phenomena 
of life, growth, and reproduction. And Kant dis- 
misses with scant respect that cheap and easy 
philosophy which would fain deny the distinctive- 
ness of nature's purposive operation. A doctrine, 
like that of Epicurus, in which every natural pheno- 
menon is regarded as the result of the blind drifting 
of atoms in accordance with purely mechanical laws, 



really explains nothing, and least of all explains 
that illusion in our teleological judgments which 
leads us to assume purpose where really there is 

It has been urged by Kirchinann and others 
that this distinction between Technic and Mechanism, 
on which Kant lays so much stress, has been dis- 
proved by the progress of modern science. The 
doctrines, usually associated with the name of 
Darwin, of Natural Selection and Survival of the 
Fittest, quite sufficiently explain, it is said, on 
mechanical principles the semblance of purpose with 
which nature mocks us. The presence of order is 
not due to any purpose behind the natural operation, 
but to the inevitable disappearance of the disorderly. 
It would be absurd, of course, to claim for Kant 
that he anticipated the Darwinian doctrines of 
development ; and yet passages are not wanting in 
his writings in which he takes a view of the con- 
tinuity of species with which modem science would 
have little fault to find. " Nature organises itself 
and its organised products in every species, no 
doubt after one general pattern but yet with suitable 
deviations, which self-preservation demands accord- 
ing to circumstances" (p. 279). "The analogy of 
forms, which with all their differences seem to have 
been produced according to a common original type, 
strengthens our suspicions of an actual relationship 
between them in their production from a common 
parent, through the gradual approximation of one 
animal genus to another — from those in which the 



principle of purposes seems to be best authenticated, 
t.e, from man, down to the polype and again from 
this down to mosses and lichens, and finally to crude 
matter. And so the whole Technic of nature, which 
is so incomprehensible to us :n organised beings 
that we believe ourselves compelled to think a 
different principle for it, seems to be derived from 
matter and its powers according to mechanical laws 
(like those by which it works in the formation of 
cr)'stajs) " (p. 337). Such a theory he calls '* a daring 
venture of reason," and its coincidences with modem 
science are real and striking. But he is careful to 
add that such a theory, even if established, would 
not eliminate purpose from the universe ; it would 
indeed suggest that certain special processes having 
the semblance of purpose may be elucidated on 
mechanical principles, but on the whole, purposive 
operation on the part of Mother Nature it would 
still be needful to assume (p. 338). " No finite 
Reason can hope to imderstand the production of 
even a blade of grass by mere mechanical causes " 
(p. 326). " It is absurd to hope that another Newton 
will arise in the future who shall make comprehen- 
sible by us the production of a blade of grass 
according to natural laws which no design has 
ordered" (p. 312). 

Crude materialism thus affording no explanation 
of the purposiveness in nature, we go on to ask 
what other theories are logically possible. We may 
dismiss at once the doctrine of Hylozoism, accord- 
ing to which the purposes in nature are explained 


A'M/rrs A'^/r/A' of judgment 

in reference to a world -soul, which is the inner 
principle of the matcrfnl universe and constitutes its 
life. For such a doctrine is self-contradictory, inas- 
much as lifelessness, inertia, is the essential charac- 
teristic of matter, and to talk of living matter is 
absurd (p. 304). A much more plausible system is 
that of Spinoza, who aimed at eslablishlnfjf the ideality 
of the principle of natural purposes. He regarded 
the world whole as a complex of manifold determi- 
nations inhering in a single simple substance ; and 
thus reduced our concepts of the purposive in nature 
to our own consciousness of existing in an all-em- 
bracing Being. But on reflection we see that this 
does not so much explain as explain away the pur- 
posiveness of nature ; it gives us an unity of inher- 
ence in. one Substance, but not an unity of causal 
dependence on one Substance (p. 303). And this 
latter would be necessary in order to explain the 
unity of purpose which nature exhibits in its pheno- 
menal working. Spinozism, therefore, does not give 
what it pretends to give ; it puts us oflf with a vague 
and unfruitful unity of ground, when what we seek 
is an unity that shall itself contain the causes of the 
differences manifest in nature. 

We have left then as the only remaining possible 
doctrine, Theism, which represents natural purposes 
as produced in accordance with the Will and Design 
of an Intelligent Author and Governor of Nature. 
This theory is, in the first place, "superior to all 
other grounds of explanation" (p. 305), for it gives 
a full solution of the problem before us and enables 



us to maintain the reality of the ZxveckmHssigkeil of 
nature. " Teleolog}" finds the consummation of its 
investigations only in Theology "(p. 311). To re- 
present the world and the natural purposes therein 
as produced by an intelligent Cause is "completely 
satisfactory from every human point of view for 
bpth the speculative and practical use of our Reason " 
(p. 312). Thus the contemplation of natural pur- 
poses, i.e. the common Ar^ment from Design, 
enables us to reach a highest Understanding as 
Cause of the world "in accordance with the principles 
of the reflective Judgment, i,e. in accordance with the 
constitution of our human faculty of cognition " (p. 

It is in this qualifying clause that Kant's nega- 
tive attitude in respect of Theism betrays itself. 
He regards it as a necessary assumption for the 
guidance of scientific investigation, no less than for 
the practical needs of morals ; but he does not 
admit that we can claim for it objective validity. 
In the language of the Kritik of Pure Rciison, the 
Idea of God furnishes a regulative, not a constitutive 
principle of Reason ; or as he prefers to put it in the 
present work, it is valid only for the reflective, not 
for the determinant Judgment. We are not justified, 
Kant maintains, in asserting dogmatically that God 
exists ; there is only permitted to us the limited 
formula "We cannot otherwise conceive the pur- 
posiveness which muse Heat the basis of our cognition 
of the internal possibility of many natural things, 
than by representing it and the world in general as 


produced by an intelligent cause, i.e. a God " (p. 

We ask then, whence arises this impossibility of 
objective statement? It is in the true Kantian 
spirit to assert that no synthetical proposition can 
be made with reference to what lies above and 
behind the world of sense ; but there is a difficulty 
in carrying out this principle into details. Kant's 
refusal to infer a designing Hand behind the appa- 
rent order of nature is based, he tells us, on the fact 
that the concept of a " natural purpose " is one that 
cannot be justified to the speculative Reason. For 
all we know it may only indicate our way of looking 
at things, and may point to no corresponding object- 
ive reality. That we are forced by the limited 
nature of our faculties to view nature as working 
towards ends, as purposive, does not prove that it is 
really so. We cannot justify such pretended insight 
into what is behind the veil. 

It is to be observed, however, that precisely 
similar arguments might be urged against our 
affirmation of purpose, design, will, as the spring of 
the actions of other human beings.* For let us 
consider why it is that, mind being assumed as the 
basis of our own individual consciousness, we go on 
to attribute minds of like character to other men. 
\Vc sec that the external behaviour of other men is 
siniilar to our own, and that the most reasonable 
way of accounting for such behaviour is to suppose 

1 I rcpnvlurt; here in pan a paper read before tbc \1ctoria 
Instiuuc m April iS'js, 

that they have minds like ourselves, that they are 
possessed of an active and spontaneously energising 
faculty^ which is the seat of their personality. But 
It is instructive to observe that neither on Kantian 
principles nor on any other can we demonstrate 
this : to cross the chasm which separates one man's 
personality from another's requires a venture of 
faith just as emphatically as any theological formula. 
I can by no m^:a.V[& prove to the determinant Judg- 
ment that the complex of sensations which I con- 
stantly experience, and which I call the Prime 
Minister, is anything more than a well-ordered 
machine. It is improbable that this is the case — 
highly improbable : but the falsity of such an hypo- 
thesis cannot be proved in the same way that we 
would prove the falsity of the assertion that two 
and two make five. But then though the hypo- 
thesis cannot be thus ruled out of court by demon- 
stration of its absurdity, it is not the simplest 
hypothesis, nor is it that one which best accounts 
for the facts. The assumption, on the other hand, 
that the men whom I meet ever>* day have minds 
like my own, perfectly accounts for all the facts, and 
is a very simple assumption. It merely extends by 
induction the sphere of a force which I already know 
to exist. Or in other words, crude materialism not 
giving me an intelligent account of my own indivi- 
dual consciousness, I recognise mind, voS?, as a vera 
catisas as something which really does produce effects 
in the field of experience, and which therefore I may 
legitimately put forward as the cause of those actions 




of Other men which externally so much resemble my 
own. But, as has been said before, this argument, 
though entirely convincing to any sane person, is not 
demonstrative ; in Kantian language and on Kantian 
principles the reasoning here used would seem to be 
valid only for the reflective and not for the deter- 
minant Judgment If the principle of design or 
conscious adaptation of means to ends be not a 
constitutive principle of experience, but only a 
regulative principle introduced to account for the 
facts, what right have we to put it forward dog- 
matically as affording an explanation of the actions 
of other human beings ? 

It cannot be said that Kant's attempted answer 
to such a defence of the Design Argument is quite 
conclusive. In § 90 of the Methodohgy (p. 309) he 
pleads that though it is perfectly legitimate to argue 
by analogy from our own minds to the minds of 
other men, nay further, although we may conclude 
from those actions of the lower animals which 
display plan, that they are not, as Descartes alleged, 
mere machines — yet it is not legitimate to conclude 
from the apparent presence of design in the opera- 
tions of nature that a conscious mind directs those 
operations. For, he argues, that in comparing the 
actions of men and the lower animals, or in comparing 
the actions of one man with those of another, we are 
not pressing our analogy beyond the limits of experi- 
ence. Men and beasts alike are finite living beings, 
subject to the limitations of finite existence ; and 
hence the law which governs the one series of 




ilecl by analogy 


)erations rr ^ 
dy explaining the other series. But the power 
at the basis of Nature is utterly above definition or 
comprehension, and we are going beyond our 
legitimate province if we venture to ascribe to it a 
mode of operation with which we are only conversant 
in the case of beings subject to the conditions of 
space and time. He urges in short that when 
speaking about man and his mind we thoroughly 
understand what we are talking about ; but in 
speaking of the Mind of Deity wc are dealing with 
something of which we have no experience, and of 
which therefore we have no right to predicate any- 

But it Is apparent that, as has been pointed out, 
even when we infer the existence of another finite 
mind from certain observed operations, we are 
making an inference about something which is as 
mysterious an ^ as anything can be. Mind Is not a 
thing that is subject to the laws and conditions of 
the world of sense ; it is " in the world but not of 
the world." And so to infer the existence of the 
mind of any individual except myself is a quite 
different kind of inference from that by which, for 
example, we infer the presence of an electro- magnet 
in a given field. The action of the latter we under- 
stand to a large extent ; but we do not understand 
the action of mind, which yet we know from daily 
experience of ourselves does produce effects in the 
phenomenal world, often permanent and important 
effects. Briefly, the action of mind upon matter 



(to use the ordinary phraseology for the sake of 
clearness) is— we may assume for our present pur- 
pose — an established fact. Hence the causality of 
mind is a vera causa ; we bring it in to account for 
the actions of other human beings, and by precisely 
the same process of reasoning we invoke it to 
explain the operations of nature. 

And it is altogether beside the point to urge, as 
Kant docs incessantly, that in the latter case the intel- 
ligence inferred is infiniie ; in the former o^y finite. 
All that the Design Argument undertakes to prove 
is that mind lies at the basis of nature. It is quite 
beyond its province to say whether this mind is 
finite or infinite ; and thus Kant's criticisms on 
p. 364 are somewhat wide of the mark. There is 
always a difficulty in any argument which tries to 
establish the operation of mind anywhere, for mind 
cannot be seen or touched or felt ; but the difficulty 
is not peculiar to that particular form of argument 
with which theological interests are involved. 

The real plausibility of this objection arises from 
a vague idea, often present to us when we speak of 
infinite wisdom or infinite intelligence, namely that 
the epithet infinite in some way alters the meaning 
of the attributes to which it is applied. But the 
truth is that the word infinite, when applied to 
wisdom or knowledge or any other intellectual or 
mora! quality, can only properly have reference to 
the number of acts of wisdom or knowledge that we 
suppose to have been performed. The only sense 
in which we have any right to speak of infinite 




wisdom is that it is that which performs an infinite 
number of wise acts. And so when we speak of 
infinite intelligence^ we have not the slightest warrant, 
either in logic or in common sense, for supposing 
that such intelligence is not similar in kind to that 
finite intelligence which we know in man. 

To understand Kant's altitude fully, we must 
also take into consideration the great weight that 
he attaches to the Mora! Argument for the exist- 
ence of God. The positive side of his teach- 
ing on Theism is summed up in the following 
sentence (p. 388) : " For the theoretical reflective 
Judgment physical Teleology sufficiently proves 
from the purposes of Nature an intelligent world - 
cause; for the practical Judgment moral Teleology 
establishes it by the concept of a final purpose, 
which it is forced to ascribe to creation." That 
side of his system which is akin to Agnosticism 
finds expression in his determined refusal to admit 
nything more than this. The existence of God is 
for him a " thing of faith " ; and is not a fact of know- 
ledge, strictly so called. " Faith " he holds (p. 409) 
•* is the moral attitude of Reason as to belief in 
that which is unattainable by theoretical cognition. 
It is therefore the permanent principle of the mind 
to assume as true that which it is necessar)^ to pre- 
suppose as condition of the possibility of the highest 
moral final purpose." As he says elsewhere (Intro- 
duction to Logic, ix. p. 60), "That man is morally 
unbelieving who does not accept that which, though 
impossible to know, is morally necessary to suppose. " 



And as far as he goes a Theist may agree with 
him, and he has done yeoman's service to Theism by 
his insistence on the absolute impossibih'ty of any 
other working hypothesis as an explanation of the 
phenomena of nature. But I have endeavoured to 
indicate at what points he does not seem to me to 
have gone as far as even his own declared principles 
would justify him in going. If the existence of a 
Supreme Mind be a " thing of faith," this may with 
equal justice be said of the finite minds of the men 
all around us ; and his attempt to show that the 
argument from analogy is here without foundation is 
not convincing. 

Kant, however, in the Kritik of Judgment is 
sadly fettered by the chains that he himself had 
forged, and frequently chafes under the restraints 
they impose. He indicates more than once a point 
of view higher than that of the Kritik of Pure Reason, 
from which the phenomena of life and mind may be 
contemplated. He had already hinted in that work 
that the supersensible substrate of the ego and the 
non-ego might be identical. " Both kinds of objects 
differ from each other, not internally, but only so far 
as the one appears external to the other ; possibly 
what is at the basis of phenomenal matter as a thing 
in itself may not be so heterogeneous after all as we 
imagine."' This hypothesis which remains a bare 
undeveloped possibilitj' in the earlier work is put 
forward as a positive doctrine Jn the Kritik of Judg- 
ment. "There must," says Kant, "be a ground 

^ Kritik oi Pure Jieason. Dialectic, Bk. ii, chapv i. near the end. 



of the unity of the supersensible, which lies at the 
basis of nature, with that which the concept of 
freedom practically contains" (Introduction, p. 12). 
That is to say, he maintains that to explain the 
phenomena of organic life and the purposiveness 
of nature we must hold that the world of sense is not 
disparate from and opposed to the world of thought, 
but that nature is l/ie dczietopmatt of freedom. The 
connection of nature and freedom is suggested by, 
nay is involved in, the notion of natural adaptation : 
and although we can arrive at no knowledge of the 
supersensible substrate of both, yet such a common 
ground there must be. This principle is the start- 
ing point of the systems which followed that of Kant ; 
and the philosophy of later Idealism is little more 
than a development of the principle in its con- 

He approaches the same doctrine by a different 
path in the Kritik of the Teleological Judgment 
(§ n\ where he argues that the distinction between 
the mechanical and the teleological working of 
nature, upon which so much stress has been justly 
laid, depends for its validity upon the peculiar char- 
acter of our Understanding. When we give what 
may be called a mechanical elucidation of any 
natural phenomenon, we begin with its parts, and 
from what we know of them we explain the whole. 
But in the case of certain objects, e,g. organised 
bodies, this caimot be done. In their case we can 
only account for the parts by a reference to the 
whole. Now, were it possible for us to perceive a 



whole before Its parts and derive the latter from the 
former,' then an organism would be capable of being 
understood and would be an object of knowledge in 
the strictest sense. But our Understanding is not 
able to do this, and its inadequacy for such a task 
leads us to conceive the possibility of an Under- 
standing, not discursive like ours, but intuitive, for 
which knowledge of the wholi; would precede that 
of the parts. "It is at least possible to consider the 
material world as mere phenomenon, and to think 
as its substrate something like a thing in itself 
(which is not phenomenon), and to attach to this 
a corresponding intellectual intuition. Thus there 
would be, althougli incognisable by us, a supersensible 
real ground for nature, to which we ourselves be- 
long" (p. 325). Hence, although Mechanism and 
Technic must not be confused and must ever stand 
side by side in our scientific investigation of natural 
law. yet must they be regarded as coalescing in a 
single higher principle incognisable by us. The 
ground of union is " the supersensible substrate of 
nature of which we can determine nothing positively, 
except that it is the being in itself of which we 
merely know the phenomenon." Thus, then, it 
appears that the whole force of Kant's main argu- 
ment has proceeded ujxin an assumption, viz. the 
permanent opposition between Sense and Under- 
standing, which the progress of the argument has 
shown to be unsound. *' Kant seems," says Goethe,* 

^ Cf. Kuno Fischer, A Ctiti^tte of Kant, p. 142. 
," Quoted by Caird, Critual PAiJosopky of Kani, voL it. p. 507, 



"to have woven a certain element of irony into his 
method. For, while at one time he seemed to he 
bent on Umiting our faculties of knowledge in the 
narrowest way, at another lime he pointed, as it 
were with a side gesture, beyond the limits which 
he himself had drawn." The fact of adaptation of 
means to ends observable in nature seems to break 
down the barrier between Nature and Freedom ; 
and if we once relinquish the distinction between 
Mechanism and Technic in the operations of nature 
we are led to the Idea of an absolute Being, who 
manifests Himself by action which, though necessar)', 
is yet the outcome of perfect freedom. 

Kant, however, though he approaches such a 
position more than once, can never be said to have 
risen to it. He deprecates unceasingly the altcmpi 
to combine principles of nature with the principles 
of freedom as a task beyond the modest capacity of 
human reason ; and while strenuously insisting on 
le practical force of the Moral Argument for the 
^Being of God, which is found in the witness of 
man's conscience, will not admit that it can in any 
way be regarded as strengthening the theoreti- 
cal arguments adduced by Teleology. The two 
Unes of proof, he holds, are quite distinct ; and 
nothing but confusion and intellectual disaster can 
result from the effort to combine them. The moral 
proof stands by itself, and it needs no such crutches 
as the argument from Design can offer. But, as 

who reiterates this criUctsm all through his acctMint of Kant's 



Mr. Kennedy has pointed out in his acute criticism * 
of the Kantian doctrine of Theism, it would not be 
possible to combine a theoretical disbelief in God 
with a frank acceptance of the practical belief of 
His existence borne in upon us by the Moral Law. 
Kant himself admits this: "A dogmatical unbelief'* 
he says (p. 411). *' cannot subsist together with a 
moral maxim dominant in the mental attitude." 
That Is, though the theoretical argument be incom- 
plete, we cannot reject the conclusion to which it 
leads, for this is confirmed by the moral necessities of 

Kant's position, then, seems to come to this, 
that though he never doubts the existence of 
God, he has very grave doubts that He can be 
theoretically known by man. That he \% is certain ; 
what he is, we cannot determine. It is a position 
not dissimilar to current Agnostic doctrines ; and as 
long as the antithesis between Sense and Under- 
standing, between Matter and Mind, is insisted 
upon as expressing a real and abiding truth, Kant's 
reasoning can hardly be refuted with completeness. 
No doubt it may be urged that since the practical 
and theoretical arguments both arrive at the same 
conclusion, the cogency of our reasoning in the 
latter should confirm our trust in the former. But 
true conclusions may sometimes seem to follow 
from quite insufficient premises ; and Kant is thus 
justified in demanding that each argument shall 
be submitted to independent tests. I have en- 

' Naiurat Theology and AfinUm Thovghty p. 241. 



deavoured to show above that he has not treated 
the theoretical line of reasoning quite fairly, and that 
he has underestimated its force ; but its value as an 
irgutncnt is not increased by showing that another 
entirely different process of thought leads to the 
same result And that the witness of conscience 
affords the most powerful and convincing argument 
for the existence of a Supreme Being, the source of 
law as of love, is a simple matter of experience. 
Induction, syllogism, analogy, do not really generate 
belief in God. though they may serve to justify to 
reason a faith that we already possess. The poet 
has the truth of it : 

Wer Golt njcht fuhlt in alien LebenskrcJsen, 
t)cm werdct Ihr Ihn nichi bevreisen mit Beweisen. 

I give at the end of this Introduction a Glossary 
of the chief philosophical terms used by Kant ; I 
have tried to render them by the same English 
equivalents all through the work, in order to pre- 
serve, as far as may be, the exactness of expression 
in the original. I am conscious that this makes the 
translation clumsy in many places, but have thought 
it best to sacrifice elegance to precision. This 
course is the more necessary to adopt, as Kant 
cannot be understood unless his nice verbal distinc- 
tions be attended to. Thus real means quite a 
different thing from wirkiich\ Hang (vom //ezgung; 
Rukt-iing from Affekt or Leidenschaft ; Anschauung 
ixiyvn. Empfindungox Wahrnehmtng; Endzweck {xom 



leisier Zweck ; Idee From Vorstellung ; Eigenschaft 
from Attribui or Besfhaffcnhcit ; Schranke from 
Gr€nze\ Ubcfyeden from ilberzeugen^ etc. I am not 
satisfied with "gratification" and "grief" as the 
English equivalents for VergnUgenzw^ Scknierz \ but 
it is necessary to distinguish these words from Lust 
and Uniusi, and " mentii] pleasure," "mental pain," 
which would nearly hit the sense, are awkward. 
Again, the constant rendering of schi)n by beautiful 
involves the expression " beautiful art " instead of the 
more usual phrase "fine art," Purposive is an ugly 
word, but it has come into use lately ; and its employ- 
ment enables us to preserve the connection between 
Zweck and zwcckmiissig. I have printed Judgment 
with a capital letter when it signifies the faculty, 
with a small initial when it signifies the act, of 
judging. And in like manner I distinguish Ohjckt 
from Gegenstand, by printing the word "Object" 
when it represents the former with a large initial. 

The text 1 have followed is, in the main, that 
printed by Hartenstein ; but occasionally Rosenkranz 
preserves the better reading. All important variants 
between the First and Second Editions have been 
indicated at the fool of the page. A few notes have 
been added, which arc enclosed in square brackets, 
to distinguish ihcm from those which formed part of 
the original work. I have in general quoted Kant's 
htiroduction to Logic and Kntik of Practieai Reason 
in Dr. Abbott's translations. 

My best thanks are due to Rev. J. H. Kennedy 
and Mr. F. Purser for much valuable aid during 



the passage of this translation through the press. 
And I am under even greater obligations to Mr. 
Mahaffy, who was good enough to read through 
the whole of the proof; by his acute and learned 
criticisms many errors have been avoided. Others 
I have no doubt still remain, but for these I must 
be accounted alone responsible. 

J. H. Bernard. 

Trinity College, Dublin, 
May 24, 1892. 


Absicht ; design. 
Achtung ; respect. 
AiTekt ; affection. 
Angenehm ; pleasant. 
Anschauung ; intuition. 
Attribut ; attribute. 
Aufklarung ; enlightenment. 

Begehr ; desire. 

Be^ff; concept. 

Beschafienhett ; constitution or 

Bestimmen ; to determine. 

Darstellen ; to present. 
Dasein ; presence or being. 

Eigenschaft ; property. 
Empfindung ; sensation, 
Endzweck ; final purpose. 
Erkenntniss ; cognition or know- 
Erklarung; explanation. 
Erscheinung ; phenomenon. 
Existenz ; existenc£. 

Fiirwahrhalten ; belief. 

Gebiet; realm. 
Gefijhl ; feeling. 
Gegenstand ; object. 
Geist ; spirit. 
Geniessen ; enjoyTnent. 
GeschicUichkeit ; skill. 
Geschmack ; Taste. 

Gesetzmassigkeit ; conformity to i 

Gewalt ; dominion or authority. 

Glaube ; faith. 

Grenze ; bound. 

Grundsatz ; fundamental proposi- 
tion or principle. 

Hang ; propension. 

Idee ; Idea. 

Leidenschaft ; pension. 

Letzter Zweck ; ultimate purpose. 

Lust ; pleasure. 

Meinen ; opinion. 

Neigung ; inclination. 

Objckt; Object. 

Prinzip ; principle. 

Real ; real. 
Reich ; kingdom. 
Reiz ; charm. 
RUhrung ; emotion. 

Schein ; illusion. 
Schmerz ; grief. 
Sch6n ; beautiful. 
Schranke ; limit. 
Schwarmerei ; fcmaticism. 
Seele; soul. 



Ueberreden ; to persuade. 
Ueberschwanglich ; transcendent. 
Uebcrzeugen ; to convince. 
Unlust ; pain, 
Urtheil ; judgment. 
Urtheilskraft ; Judgment. 

Verbindung ; combination. 
Vei^iigen ; gratification. 
Verkniipfung ; connection. 
VermOgen ; /acuity. 
Vernunft ; Reason. 
Vemunftelei; sophistry or subtlety. 
Verstand ; Understanding or in- 

Vorstellung ; representation. 

Wahmehmung ; perception. 
Wesen ; being. 
Willkiihr ; elective will. 
Wirklich ; actual. 
Wohlgefallen ; satisfaction. 

Zufriedenheit ; contentment. 
Zweck ; purpose. 
ZwecKmiSsig ; purposive. 
Zweckverbindung; purposive com- 
bination, etc. 


We may call the faculty of cognition from prin- 
ciples a priori, pure Reason, and the inquiry into its 
possibility and bounds generally the Kritlk of pure 
Reason, although by this faculty we only understand 
Reason in its theoretical employment, as it appears 
under that name in the former work ; without wish- 
ing to inquire into its faculty, as practical Reason, 
according to its s^xicial principles. That [Kritik] 
goes merely into our faculty of knowing things a 
priori, and busies itself therefore only with the 
cognitive faculty to the exclusion of the feeling of 
pleasure and pain and the faculty of desire ; and of 
the cognitive faculties it only concerns itself with 
Understanding, according to its principles a priori, 
to the exclusion oi Judgment and Reason (as faculties 
alike belonging to theoretical cognition), because it 
is found in the sequel that no other cognitive faculty 
but the Understanding can furnish constitutive prin- 
ciples of cognition a priori. The Kn'tik, then, 
which sifts them all. as regards the share which 
each of the other faculties might pretend to have in 
the unmixed possession of knowledge fcom its own 
peculiar root, leaves nothing but what the Under- 
standing prescribes a priori as law for nature as 
the complex of phenomena (whose form also is 
given a priori). It relegates all other' pure con- 

XAffTS A'ft/r/r OF /I'-DGA/^Xr 

cepls under Ideas, which are transcendent for our 
theoretical faculty of cognition, but are not there- 
fore useless or to be dispensed with. For they 
serve as regulative principles ; partly to check the 
dangerous pretensions of Understanding, as if it 
(because it can furnish a prior/ the conditions of 
the possibility of all things which it can know) had 
thereby confined within these bounds the possibility 
of all things in general ; and partly to lead it to 
the consid.eration of nature according to a principle 
of completeness, although it can never attain to 
this, and thus to further the final design of all 

It was then properly the O'mferslaftditig- ^which 
has its special realm in the cognilive facnUyk^ so ^ 
far as it contains constitutive principles of cogni- 
tion a priori, which by the Kritik, generally called 
the Kritik of pure Reason, was to lje placed in 
certain but sole jx)Ssession against all other com- 
petitors. And so also to Reason, which contains con- 
stitutive principles a priori nowhere except simply 
in respect of the /acuity of desire, should be as- 
signed its place in the Kritik of J^ractical Reason. 

Whether now the Judgtnetii, which in the order 
of our cognitive faculties forms a mediating link 
between Understanding and Reason, has also 
principles a priori for itself; whether these are 
constitutive or merely regulative (thus pointing 
out no' special realm) ; and whether they give a 
rule a priori to the feeling of pleasure and pair^ y 
as the mediating link between the cognitive faculty 
and the faculty of desire (just as the Understanding 
prescribes laws a priori to the first. Reason to 
the second); these are the questions with which 
the present Kritik of Judgment is concerned. 



A Kritik of pure Reason, i.e. of our faculty of 
judging a priori according to principles, would be 
incomplete, if the Judgment, which as a cognitive 
faculty also makes claim to such principles, were 
not treated as a particular part of it ; although its 
principles in a system of pure Philosophy need 
form no particular part between the theoretical 
and the practical, but can be annexed when needful 
to one or both as occasion requires. For if such 
^ system is one day to be completed under the 
general name of Metaphysic (which it is jwssible 
to achieve quite completely, and which is supremely 
important for the use of Reason in every reference), 
the soil for the edifice must be explored by Kritik 
as deep down as the foundation of the facuhy of 
principles independent of experience, in order that 
it may sink in no part, for this would inevitably 
bring about the downfall of the whole. 

We can easily infer from the nature of the 
Judgment (whose right use is so necessarily and 
so universally requisite, that by the name of sound 
Understanding nothing else but this faculty is 
meant), that it must be attended with great diffi- 
culties to find a principle peculiar to it ; (some such 
it must contain a priori in itself, for otherwise it 
would not be set apart by the commonest Kritik as 
a special cognitive faculty). This principle niust 
not be derived a priori from concepts, for these 
belong to the Understanding, and Judgment is only 
concerned with their application. It must, therefore, 
furnish of itself a concept, through which, properly 
speaking, no thing is cognised, but which only serves 
as a rule, though not an objective one- to which it 
can adapt its judgment ; because for this latter 
another faculty of Judgment would be requisite, 


in order to be able to distinguish whether [any 
given case] is or is not the case for the rule. 

This perplexity about a principle (whether it is 
subjective or objective) presents itself mainly in 
thdkejudgments that we call assthetical, which concern 
the Beautiful and the Sublime of Nature or of Art, 
And, nevertheless, the critical investigation of a 
principle of Judgment in these is the most important 
part of a Kritik of this faculty. For although they 
do not by themselves contribute to the knowledge 
of things, yet they belong to the cognitive faculty 
alone, and point to an immediate reference of this 
faculty to the feeling of pleasure or pain according 
to some principle a priori ; without confusing this 
with what may be the determining ground of the 
faculty of desire, which has its principles a priori in 
concepts of Reason. — In the logical judging of 
nature, experience exhibits a conformity to law in 
things, to the understanding or to the explanation of 
which the general concept of the sensible does not 
attain ; here the Judgment can only derive from itself 
a principle of the reference of the natural thing to the 
unknowable supersensible {a principle which it must 
only use from its own point of view for the cognition 
of nature). And so, though in this case such a 
principle a priori can and must be applied to the 
cognition of the beings of the world, and opens out 
at the same time prospects which are advantiigeous 
for the practical Reason, yet it has no immediate 
reference to the feeling of pleasure and pain. But 
this reference is precisely the puzzle in the principle 
of Judgment, which renders a special section 
for this faculty necessary in the Kritik; since the 
logical judging according to concepts (from which 
an immediate inference can never be drawn to 


the feeling of pleasure and pain) along with their 
critical limitation, has al all events been capable of 
being appended to the theoretical part of Philosophy. 

The examination of the faculty of taste, as the 
^esthctical Judgment, is not here planned in reference 
to the formation or the culture of taste (for this will 
take its course in the future as in the past without 
any such investigations), but merely in a tran- 
scendental point of view. Hence, I trust that as 
regards the deficiency of the former purpose it will 
be judged with indulgence, though in the latter 
point of view it must be prepared for the severest 
scrutiny. But I hope that the great difficulty of 
solving a jjroblem so involved by nature may serve 
as excuse for some hardly avoidable obscurity in 
its solution, if only it be clearly established that the 
principle is correctly stated. I grant that the mode 
of deriving the phenomena of the Judgment from 
it has not all the clearness which might be rightly 
demanded elsewhere, viz., in the case of cognition 
according to concepts ; but I believe that 1 have 
attained to it in the second part of this work. 

Here then I end my whole critical undertaking. 
I shall proceed without delay to the doctrinal fpartj 
in order to profit, as far as is possible, by the more 
favourable moments of my increasing years. It is 
obvious that in this [part] there will be no si^ecial 
section for the Judgment, because in respect of this 
faculty Kritik serves instead of Theory ; but, accord- 
ing to the division of Philosophy (and also of pure 
Philosophy) into theoretical and practical, the Meta- 
physic of Nature and of Morals will complete the 



We proceed quite correctly If, as usual, we divide 
Philosophy, as containing the principles of the 
rational cognition of things by means of concepts 
(not merely, as logic does, principles of the form of 
thought in general without distinction of objects), 
into t/ieoretical ^nd practical. But then the concepts, 
which furnish their object to the principles of this 
rational cognition, , must be specifically distinct ; 
otherwise they would not justify a division, which 
always presupposes a contrast between the principles 
of the rational cognition belonging to the different 
parts of a science. 

Now there are only two kinds of concepts, and 
these admit as many ^distinct principles of the 
possibility of their objects, viz., natural concepts 
and the coftcept of freedom. The former render 
possible theoretical cognition according to principles 
a priori', the latter in respect of this theoretical 
cognition only supplies in itself a negative principle 
(that of mere contrast), but on the other hand it 
furnishes fundamental propositions which extend the 
sphere of the determination of the will and are 
therefore called practical. Thus Philosophy is 
correctly divided into two parts, quite distinct in 



their principles ; the theoretical part or Natural 
Philosophy, and the practical part or Moral Philo- 
sophy (for that is the name given to the practical 
legislation of Reason in accordance with the concept 
of freedom). But up to the present a gross misuse 
of these expressions has prevailed, both in the 
division of the different principles and consequently 
also of Philosophy itself. For what is practical 
according to natural concepts has been identified 
with the practical according to the concept of free- 
dom ; and so with the like tides, 'theoretical' and 
•practical' Philosophy, a division has been made, 
by which in fact nothing has been divided (for both 
parts might in such c;ise have principles of the same 

The will, regarded as the faculty of desire, is in 
fact one of the many natural causes in the world, viz.. 
that cause which acts in accordance with concepts. 
All that is represented as possible (or necessary) by 
means of a will is called practically possilile (or 
necessary) ; as distinguished from the physical possi- 
bility or necessity of an effect, whose cause is not 
detemiined to causality by concepts (but in lifeless 
matter by mechanism and in animals by instinct). 
Here, in respect of the practical, it is loft uWeter- 
mined whether the concept wbi«k {;iT«t the rale t« 
the causality of the will, is a natural c»n«ef t ^r a 
concept of freedom. 

But the last distinction is essential. For if the 
concept which determines the causality [of the will] 
is a natural concept, then the principles are iechni- 
cally practical \ whereas, if it is a concept of freedom 
ibey are morally practicai. And as the division 
of a rational science depends on the distinction 
between objects whose cognition needs distinct 


• l 

principles, the former will belong to U>«opeii^ Philo- 
sophy (doctrine of Nature), but the latter alone 
will constitute the second part, viz., practical Philo- 
sophy (doctrine of Morals). 

All technically practical rules {i.e. the rules of art 
and skill generally, or of sagacit}' regarded as skill 
in exercising an influence over men and their wills), 
so far as their principles rest on concepts , must be 
reckoned only as corollaries to theoretical Philosoph y. 
For they concern only the possibility of things ac- 
cording to natural concepts, to which belong not 
only the means which are to be met with in nature, 
but also the will itself (as a faculty of desire and 
consequently a natural faculty), so far as it can be 
determined conformably to these rules by natural 
motives. However, practical rules of this kind are 
not called laws (like physical laws), but only pre- 
cepts : because: the will does not stand merely under 
the natural concept* but also under the concept of 
freedom, in relation to which its principles are called 
laws. These with their conseg uejaccs ^lone consti.; 
tute the scr jTpd "*• practical part oL Eliilosophy. 

The solution of the problems of pure geometry 
does not belong to a particular part of the science ; 
mensuration does not deserve the name of practical, 
in contrast to pure geometry, as a second pan of 
geometry in general ; and just as little ought the 
mechanical or chemical art of e.\periment or obser- 
vation to be reckoned as a practical part of the 
doctrine of Nature. Just as little, in fine, ought 
housekeeping, farming, statesmanship, the art of 
conversation, the prescribing of diet, the universal 
doctrine of happiness itself, or the curbing of the 
inclinations and checking of the affections lor the 
sake of happiness, to be reckoned as practical Philo- 

• t 


sophy, or taken to constitute the second part of 
Philosophy in general. For all these contain only 
rules of skill (and are consequently only technically 
practical) for bringing about an effect that is possible 
according to the natural concepts of causes and 
effects, which, since they belong to theoretical Philo- 
sophy, are subject to those precepts as mere corol- 
laries from it (viz., natural science), and can there- 
fore claim no place in a special Philosophy called 
practical. On the other hand, the morally practical 
precepts, which are altogether based on the concept 
of freedom to the complete exclusion of the natural 
determining grounds of the will, constitute a quite 
special class. These, like the rules which nature 
obeys, are called simply laws, but they do not, like 
them, rest on sensuous conditions but on a super- 
sensible principle; and accordingly they require for 
themselves a quite different part of Philosophy, 
called practical, corresponding to its theoretical part. 
We hence see that a complex of practical pre- 
cepts given by Philosophy does not constitute a 
distinct part of Philosophy, as opposed to the theo- 
retical part, because these precepts are practical ; for 
they might be that, even if their principles were 
derived altogether from the theoretical cognition of 
nature (as technically practical rules). [A distinct 
branch of Philosophy is constituted only] if their 
principle, as it is not borrowed from the natural 
concept which is always sensuously conditioned, 
rests on the supersensible, which alone makes the 
concept of freedom cognisable by formal laws. 
These precepts are then morally practical, i.t. not 
merely precepts or rules in this or that aspect, but, 
without any preceding reference to purposes and 
designs, are laws. 


ATMyr'S! irjirriK OF/t/DGAtExr 



So far as our concepts have a priori ^\i\>\\cdX\6n, 
so far extends the use of our cognitive faculty accord- 
ing to principles, and with it Philosophy. 

But the complex of all objects, to which those 
concepts are referred, in order to bring about a 
kno<vledge of them where It is possible, may be sub- 
divided according to the adequacy or inadequacy of 
our [cognitive] faculty with this design. 

Concepts, so far as they are referred to objects, 
independently of the possibility or impossibility of 
the cognition of these objects, have their field which 
is determined merely according to the relation that 
their Object has to our cognitive faculty in general. 
The part of this field in which knowledge is possible 
for us is a ground or territory (ierriiorium) for these 
concepts and the requisite cognitive faculty. The 
pan of this territor)'. where they are legislative, is 
the realm (diiio) of these concepts and of the corre- 
sponding cognitive faculties. Empirical concepts 
have, therefore, their territory in nature, as the ci^m- 
plex of all objects of sense, but no realm, only a 
dwelling-place (dmnitiUuni) ; for though they are 
produced in conformity to law they are not legisla- 
tive, but the rules based on them arc empirical and 
consequently contingent. 

Our whole cognitive faculty has two realms, that 
of natural concepts and that of the concept of free- 
dom; for through both it is legislative a priori. \\\ 
accordance with this, Philosophy is divided into 
theoretical and practical. But the territory to which 
its realm extends and in which its legislation is 
exercised, is always only the complex of objects of 
all possible experience, so long as they arc taken for 

f H 



nothing more than mere phenomena; for otherwise 
no legislation of the Understanding in respect of 
them is conceivable. 

Legislation through natural concepts is carried 
on by means of the Understandinif and is theoretical. 
Legislation through the concept of freedom is carried 
on by the Reason and is merely practical. It is onlyi 
in the practical [sphere] that the Reason can be 
legislative ; in respect of theoretical cognition (of 
nature) it can merely (as acquainted with law by the 
Understanding) deduce from given laws conse- 
quences which always remain within [the limits of] 
nature. But on ihe other hand, Reason is not 
always therefore iegisiativt\ where there are practical 
rules, for they may be only technically practical. 

Understanding and Reason exercise, therefore, 
two distinct legislations on one and the same 
territory of experience, without prejudice to each 
other. The concept of freedom as little disturbs 
the legislation of nature, as the natural concept in- 
fluences the legislation through the former. — The 
possibility of at least thinking without contradiction 
the co-existence of both legislations, and of the cor- 
responding faculties in the same subject, has been 
.shown in the Kritik of pure Reason ; whilst it has 
annulled the objections to this [theory] by exposing 
the dialectical illusion which they contain. 

These two different realms then do not limit 
each other in their legislation, though they per- 
petually do so in the world_of sense. That they 
do not constitute one realm, arises from this, that 
the natural concept represents its objects in intuition, 
not as things in themselves, but as mere^henomena ; 
the concept of freedom, on the oTHerhand, repre- 
sents in its Object a thing in itself, but not in 




intuition. Hence, neither of them can furnish 
a theoretical knowledge of its Object (or even of 
the thinking subject) as a thing in itself; this would 
be the supersensible, the Idea of which we must 
indeed make the basis of the possibility of all these 
objects of experience, but which we can never extend 
or elevate into a cognition. 

There is, then, an unbounded but also inacces- 
sible field for our whole cognitive faculty — the field 
of the supersensible — wherein we find no lerritor}'. 
. and. therefore, can have in it, for theoretical cogni- 
,^ tion. no realm either for concepts of Understanding 
, .'"'or Reason. This field we must indeed occupy with 
Ideas on behalf of the theoretical as well as the 
practical use of Reason, but we can supply to them 
in reference to the laws [arising] from the concept 
of freedom no other than practical reality, by which 
our theoretical cognition is not extended in the 
slightest degree towards the supersensible. 

Now even if an immeasurable gulf is fixed 
between the sensible realm of the concept of nature 
and thesupersensiblerealmof the concept of freedom, 
so that no transition is possible from the first to 
the second (by means of the theoretical use of 
Reason), just as if they were two different worlds 
of which the first could have no influence upon 
the second, yet the second is meant to have an in- 
fluence upon the first. The concept of freedom is 
meant to actualise in the world of sense the purpose 
proposed by its laws, and consequently nature must 
be so thought that the conformity to law of its form, 
at least harmonises with the possibility of the 
purposes to be effected in it according to laws of 
freedom. — There must, therefore, be a ground of 
the unity of the supersensible, which lies at the 





basis of nature, with that whicli ihe concept of 
freedom practically contains ; and the concept of 
this ground, although it does not attain either 
theoretically or practically to a knowledge of the 
same, and hence has no peculiar realm, nevertheless 
makes possible the transition from the mode of 
thought according to the principles of the one to 
that according to the principles of the other. 


The Kritik of the cognitive faculties, as regards 
what they can furnish a pn'ori, has properly speaking 
no realm in respect of Objects, because it is not a 
doctrine, but only has to investigate whether and 
how, in accordance with the state of these faculties, a 
doctrine is possible by their means. Its field extends 
to all their pretensions, in order to confine them 
within their legitimate bounds. But what cannot 
enter into the division of Philosophy may yet enter, 
as a chief part, into the Kritik of the pure faculty of 
cognition in general, viz., if it contains principles 
which are available neither for theoretical nor for 
practical use. 

The natural concepts, which contain the ground 
of ail theoretical knowledge a priori, rest on the 
legislation of the Understanding. — The concept of 
freedom, which contains the ground of all sensuously- 
unconditioned practical precepts a priori, rests on 
the legislation of the Reason. Both faculties, there- 
fore, besides being capable of application as regards 
their logical form to principles of whatever origin, 
have also as regards their content, their special 






legislations above which there is no other (a priori) ; 
and hence the division of Philosophy into theoretical 
and practical is justiBed. 
r But In the family of the supreme cognitive 
faculties there is a middle term between the Under- 
standing and the Reason. This is xhcjudgmcniy of 
which we have cause for supposing according to 
analogy that it may contain in itself, if not a special 
legislation, yet a special principle of its own to be 
sought according to laws, though merely subjective 
a priori. This principle, even if it have no field 
of objects as its realm, yet may have somewhere a 
territory with a certain character, for which no other 
principle can be valid. 

But besides (to judge by analogy) there is a 
new ground for bringing the Judgment into con- 
nection with another arrangement of our repre- 
sentative facnliics, which seems to be of even 
greater importance than that of its relationship 
with the family of the cognitive faculties. For all 
faculties or capacities of the soul can be reduced to 
three, which cannot be any further derived from one 
common ground: y^\^ facuJiy of knowledge, \hG.f€el- 
ing of pleasure and pain, and \.\\<t faeully of desire} 

1 If we Imve canse for supposing ihat concepts which we use as 
empirical principles stand in relationship vnth the pure conniti*'e 
faculty ij priori^ it is profitable, because of ihis reference, to seek for 
ihcm a tronMemlcnlal definition ; /.c, a definition throujrh pare caic- 
fc'orics, so far as these by themselves adetjuately furnish tlie distinction 
of the concept in question from others. We here follow the example 
of the mathematician who leaves undelcrmined the empirical data nf 
his problem, and only brin^ their rclattoD in their pure synthesis 
under the concepts of pure Arithmetic, and thus g.eiieraliscs the solu- 
tion. Objection has t>een brau|;bt against a similar procedure of 
mine (ct the Preface to the Kritik of Practical Reason, Abbatft Trans- 
taiion, p. 94.). and my deBnition of the facuhy of desire has been 
found fault with, vit, tliai it is [the beiny's] Jmulty of becoming by 
mctttis of its rcprescniiUions the cause of the itiluoUty of the objects of 
these representatiijns ; for the desires might be mere cnivings, and by 





For the faculty of knowledge the Understanding is 
alone legislative, if {as must happen when it is con- 
sidered by itself without confusion with the faculty 
of desire) this faculty is referred to nature as the 
faculty of i/itoreiira/ htowkdge ; for in respect of 
nature (as phenomenon) it is alone possible for us 
10 give laws by means of natural concepts a pnori, 
i.e. by pure concepts of Understanding. — For the 
faculty of desire, as a supreme faculty according to 
the concept of freedom, the Reason (in which alone 

means of these alone ever>* one is convinced the Object cannot be 
produced. — But this proves nothing more llian thai there arc desires 
in man, by which he is in contradiction with himself. For here 
he strives for ihe production of the Object by means of the representa- 
tion alone, from which he can expect no resi]h, because he is con- 
scious that his mechanical puwirr^ (if I may so call those which arc 
not psychological) which must he detcnmined by that representation to 
bring abfiut the Object (mediately) are either not competent, or even 
tend towards what is impossible ; e.g., to reverse the past {O mihi 
pralerilos . . . etc.), or lo annlhilulc in the impatience of expecta- 
tion the interval before the wished for moment. — Although in such 
lantastic desires we arc conscious of the inadequacy (or even the 
iinsui lability) of our representations for bcin^ tausfs of their objects, 
yel their leference as causes, and consequently the representation of 
their eausaliiy, is contained in every- unsh ; and this is peculiarly 
evident if the wish is an aflfcclion or longing. For these [loiijitngs] 
by their dilatation and contraction of the heart and consequent ex- 
haustion of powers, prove that these powers are contiiuially kept on 
(he stretch by representations, but that they perpetually let the mind, 
havin}{ regard to the impossibility [of the desire], fall back in ex- 
haustion. Even prayers folTcred up] to avert yrcat and (as tir as one 
can see) unavoidable evils, and many superstitious means for attain- 
ing in a natural way impossible purposes, point to the causal reference 
of representations to their Objects ; a reference which cannot at all be 
checked by the consciousness of the inadequacy of the cITorl to pro- 
duce the efTect. — As to why there sliould be in our nature this pro- 
pensity to desires which are consciously vain, that is an onthropologico- 
teteolngical problem. It seems that if we were not dclermined lo the 
application of our powers before we were assured of the adequacy of 
OUT faculties to produce an Object, these jxtwcrs would remain in great 
part unused. For we commonly learn to know our powers only by 
firit making trLiI of them. This deception in the case of vain wishes 
is then only the consequence of a benevolent ordinance in our natnrc. 
[Tbis note was added by Kant in the Second Edition.] 





this concept has a place) is alone (T//7i?n* legislative. 
Now between the faculties of knowledge and desire 
there is the feeling of pleasure, just as the Judgment 
mediates between the Understanding and the 
' Reason. We may therefore suppose provisionally 
that the Judgment likewise contains in itself an a 
priori principle. And as pleasure or pain is neces- 
sarily combined with the faculty of desire (either 
preceding this principle as in the lower desires, or 
following it as in the higher, when the desire is 
determined by the moral law), we may also sup|xjse 
that the Judgment will bring about a transition from 
the pure faculty of knowledge, the realm of natural 
concepts, to the realm of the concept of freedom, 
just as in its logical use it makes possible the transi- 
tion from Understanding to Reason. 

Although, then, Philosophy can be divided only 
into two main parts, the theoretical and the practical, 
and although all that we may be able to say of the 
special principles of Judgment must be counted as 
belonging in it to the theoretical part, i.e., to rational 
cognition in accortlance with n atur al co ncepts ; yet 
tlie Kritik of pure Reason, which must decide all 
this, as regards the possibility of the system before 
undertaking it, consists of three parts : the Kritik of 
pure Understanding, of pure Judgment, and of pure 
Reason, which faculties are called pure because they 
are legislative a priori. 

A PHiOJil 

Judgment in general is the faculty of thinking 
the particular as contained under the Universal. If 
tlie universal (the rule, the principle, the law) be 

f IV 






given, the Judgment which subsumes the particular 
under it (even if, as transcendental Judgment, it 
furnishes, a priori, the conditions in conformity with 
which subsumption under that universal is alone pos- 
sible) is determinant. Rut if only the particular be 
given for which the universal has to be found, the 
Judgment is merely reflective. 

The determinant Judgment only subsumes under ,' 
universal transcendental laws given by the Under- 
standing; the law is marked out for it, a priori, and 
it has therefore no need to seek a law for itself 
in order to be able to subordinate the particular in 
nature to the universal. — But the forins of nature 
are so manifold, and there are so m:iny modifica- 
tions of the universal transcendental natural con- 
cepts left undetermined by the laws given, a prioriy 
by the pure Understanding, — because these only 
concern the possibility of a nature in general (as an 
object of sense), — that there niust be laws for these 
[forms] also. These, as empirical, may be contingent 
from the point of view ofour Understanding, and yet, 
if ihey are to be called laws (as the concept of a 
nature requires), they must be regarded as necessary 
in virtue of a principle of the unity of the manifold, 
though it be unknown to us. — The reflective Judg- 
ment, which is obliged to ascend from the particular 
tn nature to the universal, requires on that account 
a principle that it cannot borrow from experience, 
because its function is to establish the unity of all 
empirical principles under higher ones, and hence 
to establish the possibility of their systematic sub- 
ordination. Such a transcendental principle, then, 
the reflective Judgment can only give as a law from 
and to itself. It cannot derive it from outside 
(because then it would be the determinant Judg- 






ment), nor can it prescribe it to nature, because 
reflection upon the laws of nature adjusts itself by 
nature, and not nature by the conditions according 
to which we attempt to arrive at a concept of it which 
is quite contingent in respect of nature. 

This principle can be no other than the follow- 
ing : Asjiniversal laws of nature have their ground 
in our Understanding, which prescribes thent to 
nature (although only according to the universal 
concept of it as nature) ; so particular empirical laws, 
in respect of what is in them left undetermined by 
these universal laws, must be considered in accord- 
ance with such a unity as they would have if an 
Understanding (although not our Understanding) 
had furnished them to our cognitive faculties, so as 
to make possible a system of experience according 
to particular laws of nature. Not as if, in this 
way, such an Understanding must be assumed as 
actual (for it is only our reflective Judgment to 
which this Idea serves as a principle — for reflecting, 
not for determining) ; but this faculty thus gives a 
law only to itself and not to nature. 

Now the concept of an Object, so far as it con- 
tains the ground of the actuality of this Object, is the 
purpose ; and the agreement of a thing with that 
constitution of things, which is only possible accord- 
ing to purposes, is called the purposiveness of its 
form. Thus the principle of Judgment, in respect 
of the form of things of nature under empirical laws 
generally, is thit pinposivetiess of nature in its variet)''. 
That is, nature is represented by means of this con- 
cept, as if an Understanding contained the ground 
of the unity of the variety of its empirical laws. 

The pun^os iveness of nature is therefore a par- 
ticular concept^ a pr^n-i. j^liicJjLTias Us orlgm solell 


f * 




in the reflective rudgment. For we cannot ascribe 
to natural products anything like a reference of 
nature in them to purposes ; we can only use this 
concept to reflect upon such products in respect of 
the connection of phenomena which is given in them^. 
according to empirical laws. This concept is also / 
quite different from practical purposiveness (in / 
human art or in morals), though it is certainly / 
thought according to the analogy of these last. — ' 



A transcendental principle is one by means of 
which is represented, a priori^ the universal condi- 
tion under which alone things can- be in general 
Objects of our cognition. On the other hand, a 
principle is called metaphysical if it represents the 
d//-/<?r(' condition under which alone Objects, whose 
concept must be empirically given, can be further 
determined a priori. Thus the principle of the 
cognition of bodies as substances, and as changeable 
substances, is transcendental, if thereby it is asserted 
that their changes must have a cause ; it is meta- 
physical if it asserts that thuir changes must have an 
(u/tvvw/ cause. For in the former case bodies need 
only be thought by means of ontological predicates 
(pure concepts of Understanding), €.g., substance, 
in order to cognise the proposition a priori; but in 
the latter case the empirical concept of a body (as a 
movable thing in space) must He at the basis of the 
proposition, although once this basis has been laid 
down, it may be seen completely a priori that this 
latter predicate (motion only by external causes) 




belongs to Ixxly. — Thus, as I shall presently show, 
the principle of the p urposive n ess of natur e (in the 
manifoldnoss of its empirical laws) is a transcenden- 
tal pri nciple . For the concept of Objects, so far as 
they are thought as standing under this principle, is 
only the pure concept of objects of possible empirical 
cognition in general and contains nothing empirical. 
On the other hand, the principle of practical pur* 
po siven ess^ which must be thought in the Idea of the 
deter^ninatioH of a free will, is a metaphysical prin- 
ciple ; because the concept of a faculty of desire as 
a will must be given empirically {i.e. does not belong 
to transcendental predicates). Both principles are, 
however, not empirical, but a priori; because for 
the combination of the predicate with the empirical 
concept of the subject of their judgments no further 
experience is needed, but it can be apprehended 
completely a priori. 

That the concept of a purposiveness of nature 
belongs to transcendental principles can be sufficiently 
seen from the maxims of the Judgment, which lie 
at the basis of the investigation of nature a priori, 
and yet do not go further than the possibility of 
experience, and consequently of the cognition of 
nature — not indeed nature in general, but nature 
as determined through a variety of particular laws. 
These maxims present themselves in the course 
of this science often enough, though in a scattered 
way, as sentences of metaphysical wisdom, whose 
necessity we cannot demonstrate from concepts. 
" Nature takes the shortest way {Jex parsimonite) \ 
at the same time it makes no leaps, either in the 
course of its changes or in the juxta-position of 
specifically different forms {lex continui in naiura) ; 
its great variety in empirical laws is yet unity 





under a few principles (principia preeter mcessitatem 
noH sunt inuHiplicanda)" etc. 

If we propose to set forth the origin of these 
fundamental propositions and try it by the psycho- 
logical method, we violate their sense. For they 
do not tell us what happens, ue. by what rule our 
cognitive powers actually oi>erate, and how we 
judge, but how we ought to judge; and this logical 
objective necessity docs not emerge if the principles 
are merely empirical. Hence that purposiveness 
of nature for our cognitive faculties and their use, 
which is plainly apparent from them, is a transcen- 
dental principle of judgments, and needs therefore 
also a Transcendental Deduction, by means of which 
the ground for so judging must be sought in the 
sources of cognition a priori. 

We find in the grounds of the possibility of an 
experience in the very first place something neces- 
sary", viz., the universal laws without which nature 
in general (as an object of sense) cannpt be thought ; 
and these rest upon the Categories, applied to the 
formal conditions of all intuition possible for us, 
so far as it is also given a priori. Now under these 
laws the Judgment is determinant, for it has nothing 
to do but to subsume under given laws. For 
example, the Understanding says that every change 
has its cause (universal law of nature) ; the tran- 
scendental Judgment has nothing further to do than 
to supply a pri&ri the condition of subsumption 
under the concept of the Understanding placed 
before it, i.e. the succession [in time] of the deter- 
minations of one and the same thing. For nature 
in general (as an object of yx>ssible experience) that 
law is cognised as absolutely necessary. — But 
now the objects of empirical cognition are deter- 




mined in many other ways than by that formal time- 
condition, or, at least as far as we can judge a 
priori, are determinable. Hence specifically dif- 
ferent natures can be causes in an infinite variety 
of ways, as well as in virtue of what they have 
in common as belonging to nature in general ; and 
each of these modes must (in accordance with the 
|concept of a cause in general) have its rule, which 
'is a law and therefore brings necessity with it. al- 
|tIiough we do not at all comprehend this necessity. 
I in virtue of the constitution and the limitations of 
[ our cognitive faculties. We must therefore think 
in nature, in respect of its merely empirical laws, 
a possibility of infinitely various empirical laws, 
which are, as far as our insight goes, contingent 
(cannot be cognised a priori), and in respect of 
which we judge nature, according to empirical laws 
and the possibility of the unity of experience (as 
a system according to empirical laws), to be con- 
tingent But such an unity must be necessarily 
presupposed and assumed, for otherwise there would 
be no thoroughgoing connection of empirical cogni- 
tions in a whole of experience. The universal laws 
of nature no doubt furnish such a connection of 
things according to their kind as things of nature 
in general, but not specifically, as such particular 
beings of nature. Hence the Judgment n\ust 
assume for its special use this principle a priori, 
that what in the particular (empirical) laws of nature 
is from the human point of view contingent, yet 
contains an unity of law in the combination of its 
manifold into an experience possible In itself — an 
unity not indeed to be fathomed by us, but yet think- 
able. Consequently as the unity of law in a com- 
bination, which we cognise as contingent in itself. 




although in conformity with a necessary design (a 
need) of Understanding, is represented as the pur- 
posiveness of Objects (here of nature) ; so must the 
Judgment, which in respect of things under possible 
(not yet discovered) empirical laws is merely refiec- 
tion, think of nature in respect of the latter accord- 
ing to TLprincipic of purposiveness for our cognitive 
faculty, which then is expressed in the above 
mxxims of the Judgment. This transcendental 
concept of a purposivcness of nature is neither a 
natural concept nor a concept of freedom, because it 
ascribes nothing to the Object (of nature), but only 
represents the peculiar way in which we must 
proceed in reflection upon the objects of naturei 
m reference to a thoroughly connected experienceJ 
and is consequently a subjective principle (maxim) 
of the Judgment. Hence, as if it were a lucky 
chance favouring our design, we are rejoiced (pro- 
perly speaking, relieved of a want), if we meet with 
such systematic unity under merely empirical laws ; 
although we must necessarily assume that there 
is such a unity without our comprehending it or 
being able to prove it. 

In order to convince ourselves of the correctness 
of this Deduction of the concept before us, and the 
necessity of assuming it as a transcendental principle 
of cognition, just consider the magnitude of the 
problem. The problem, which lies a priori in our 
Understanding, is to make a connected experience 
out of given perceptions of a nature containing at all 
events an infinite variety of empirical laws. The 
Understanding is, no doubt, in possession a priori 
of universal laws of nature, without which nature 
could not be an object of experience ; but it needs 
in addition a certain order of nature in its particular 



rules, which can only be empirically known and 
which are, as regards the Understanding, contingent. 
These rules, without which we could not proceed 
from the universal analogy of a possible experience 
in general to the particular, must be thought by it 
as laws [i.e. as necessary), for otherwise they would 
not constitute an order of nature ; although their 
necessity can never be cognised or comprehended 
by it. Although, therefore, the Understanding 
can determine nothing a priori in respect of Objects, 
it must, in order to trace out these empirical so-called 
laws, place at the basis of all reflection upon Objects 
an a priori principle, viz., that a cognisable order 
of nature is possible in accordance with these laws. 
The following propositions express some such prin- 
ciple. There is in nature a subordination of genera 
and species comprehensible by us. Each one 
approximates to some other according to a common 
principle, so that a transition from one to another and 
so on to a higher genus may be possible. Though 
it seems at the outset unavoidable for our Under- 
standing to assume different kinds of causality for 
the specific differences of natural operations, yet 
these different kinds may stand under a small 
number of principles, with the investigation of which 
we have to busy ourselves. This harmony of 
nature with our cognitive faculty is presupposed 
a priori by the Judgment, on behalf of its reflection 
upon nature in accordance with its empirical laws ; 
whilst die Understanding at the same time cognises 
it objectively as contingent, and it is only the Judg- 
ment that ascribes it to nature as a transcendental 
purposiveness (in relation to the cognitive faculty of 
the subject). For without this presupposition we 
should have no order of nature in accordance with 




empirical laws, and consequently no gviiding thread 
for an experience ordered by these in all their variety, 
or for an investigation of them. 

For it might easily be thought that, in spite of 
all the uniformity of natural things according to the 
universal laws, without which we should not have 
the form of an empirical cognition in general, the 
specific variety of the empirical laws of nature in- 
cluding their effects might yet be so great, that it 
would be impossible for our Understanding, to 
detect in nature a comprehensible order ; to divide 
its products into genera and species, so as to use 
the principles which explain and make intelligible 
one for the explanation and comprehension of 
another ; or out of such confused material (strictly 
we should say, so infinitely various and not to be 
measured by our faculty of comprehension) to make 
a connected experience. 

The Judgment has therefore also in itself a 
principle a priori of the possibility of nature, but 
only in a subjective aspect ; by which it prescribes, I 
not to nature (autonomy), but to itself (heautonomy) ' 
a law for its relleclion upon nature. This we might 
call the lam of the specification of nature in respect 
of its empirical laws. The J udgment does not 
cognise this a prion in nature, but assumes it on 
behalf of a natural order cognisable by our Under- 
standing in the division which it makes of the 
universal laws of nature when it wishes to subordinate 
to these the variety of particular laws. If then we \ 
say that nature specifies its universal laws according 
to the principles of puqxisiveness for our cognitive 
faculty, i.e. in accordance with the necessary business 
of the human Understanding of finding the universal 
for the particular which perception offers it, and again 




of finding connection for the diverse (which how- 
ever is a universal for each species) in the unity of 
a principle^ — we thus neither prescribe to nature a 
law, nor do we learn one from it by observation 
(although such a principle may be confirmed by this 
means). For it is not a principle of the determinant 
but merely of the reflective Judgment. We only 
require that, be nature disposed as it may as regards 
its universal laws, investigation into its empirical 
laws may be carried on in accordance with that prin- 
ciple and the maxims founded thereon, because it is 
only so far as that holds that we can make any 
progress with the use of our Understanding in 
experience, or gain knowledge. 


The conceived harmony of nature in the variety 
of its particular laws with our need of finding 
universality of principles for it, must be judged as 
contingent in respect of our insight, but yet at the 
same time as indispensable for the needs of our 
Understanding, and consequently as a purposiveness 
by which nature is harmonised with our design, 
which, however, has only knowledge for its aim. 
The universal laws of the Understanding, which 
are at the same lime laws of nature, are just as 
necessary (although arising from spontaneity) as the 
material laws of motion. Their production pre- 
supposes no design on the part of our cognitive 
faculty, because it is only by means of them that 
we, in the first place, attain a concept of what the 
cognition of things (of nature) is, and attribute them 




necessarily to nature as Object of our cognition in 
general. But, so far as we can see, it is contingent 
that the order of nature according to its particular 
laws, in all its variety and heterogeneity possibly at 
least transcending our comprehension, should be 
actually conformable to these [laws]. The discovery 
of this [order] is the business of the Understanding 
which IS designedly borne towards a necessary 
purpose, viz., the bringing of unity of principles into 
nature, which purpose then the Judgment must 
ascribe to nature, because the Understanding cannot 
here prescribe any law to It. 

The attainment of that design is bound up with 
the feeling of pleasure, and since the condition of this 
attainment is a representation a priori^ — as here a 
principle for the reflective Judgment in general, — 
therefore the feeling of pleasure is determined by a 
ground a priori and valid for every man, and that 
merely by the reference of the Object to the cognitive 
faculty, the concept of purposiveness here not having 
the least reference to the faculty of desire. It is thus 
<]uite dist jj 
of nature. 

-alLpractical pu rposiveng s^ 


In tact, although from the agreement of per- 
ceptions with laws in accordance with universal 
natural concepts (the categories), we do not and 
cannot fmd in ourselves the slightest efl'ect upon the 
feeling of pleasure, because the Understanding 
necessarily proceeds according to its nature without 
any design ; yet, on the other hand, the discovery 
that two or more empirical heterogeneous laws of 
nature may be combined under one principle com- 
prehending them both, is the ground of a very 
marked pleasure, often even of an admiration, which 
does not cease, though we may be already quite 


familiar with the objects of it. We no longer find, it 
is true, any marked pleasure in the comprehensibility 
of nature and in the unity of its divisions into genera 
and species, by which all empirical concepts are 
possible, through which we cognise it according to 
its particular laws. Bui this pleasure has certainly 
been present at one time, and it is only because the 
commonest experience would be impossible without 
it that it is gradually confounded with mere cognition 
and no longer arrests particular attention. There is 
then something in our judgments upon nature which 
makes us attentive to its purposiveness for our Under- 
standing — an endeavour to bring, where possible, its 
dissimilar laws under higher ones, though still always 
empirical^ — and thus, if successful, makes us feel plea- 
sure in that harmony of these with our cognitive 
faculty, which harmony we regard as merely contin- 
gent. On the other hand, a representation of nature 
would altogether displease, by which it should be 
foretold to us that in the smallest investigation 
beyond the commonest experience we should meet 
with a heterogeneity of its laws, which would make the 
union of its particular laws under universal empirical 
laws impossible for our Understanding. For this 
would contradict the princifile of the subjectively- 
purposive specification of nature in its genera, and 
also of our reflective Judgment in respect of such 

This presupposition of the Judgment is, however, 
at the same lime so indeterminate as to how far that 
ideal purposiveness of nature for our cognitive 
faculty should be extended, that if we were told that 
a deeper or wider knowledge of nature derived from 
observation must lead at last to a variety of laws, 
which no human Understanding could reduce to a 




principle, we should at once acquiesce. But still 
we more gladly listen to one who offers hope that 
the more we know nature internally, and can compare 
it with external members now unknown to us, the 
more simple shall we find it in its principles, and that 
the further our experience reaches the more uniform 
shall we find it amid the apparent heterogeneity of 
its empirical laws. For it is a mandate of our 
Judgment to proceed according to the principle of 
the harmony of nature with our cognitive faculty so 
far as that reaches, without deciding (because it is 
not the determinant Judgment which gives us this 
rule) whether or not it is bounded anywhere. For 
although in respect of the rational use of our cognitive 
faculty we can determine such bounds, this is not 
possible in the empirical field. 


That which in the representation of an Object 
is merely subjective, ix, which decides its reference 
to the subject, not to the object, is its a^sthetical 
character ; but that which serves or can be used 
for the determination of the object (for cognition), 
is its logical validity. In the cognition of an object 
of sense both references present themselves. In 
the sense - representation of external things the 
quality of space wherein we intuite them is the 
merely subjective [element] of n;y representation 
(by which it remains undecided what they may be in 
themselves as Objects), on account of which reference 
the object is thought thereby merely as phenomenon. 
But space, notwithstanding its merely subjective 
quality, is at the same time an ingredient in the 



• vil 

cognition of things as phenomena. Sensation, again 
(i,e, external sensation), expresses the merely sub- 
jective [element] of our representations of external 
things, but it Is also the proper material (reale) of 
them (by which something existing is given), just 
as space is the mere form a priori of the possibility 
of their intuition. Nevertheless, however, sensation 
is also employed in the cognition of external Objects. 

But the subjective [clement] in a representation 
whick cannot be an ingredient of cognition, is the 
pleasure or pain which is bound up with it ; for 
through it 1 cognise nothing in the object of the 
representation, although it may be the effect of some 
cognition. Now the purposivcness of a tiling, so far 
as it is represented in perception, is no characteristic 
of the Object itself (for such cannot be |x.-rceived). 
although it may be inferred from a cognition of 
things. The purposivcness, therefore, which pre- 
cedes the cognition of an Object, and which, even 
without our wishing to use the representation of it 
for cognition, is, at the same time, immediately 
bound up with it, is that subjective [element] which 
cannot be an ingredient in cognition. Hence the 
I object is only called purposive, when its representa- 
tion is immediately combined with the feeling of 
pleasure; and this very representation is an assthctical 
representation of purposivcness. — We have only 
to ask w^hether there is, in general, such a representa- 
tion of purposivcness. 

I f pleasure is bound up with the mere apprehen- 
sion (apprehensio) of the form of an object of in- 
tuition, without reference to a concept for a definite 
cognition, then the representation is thereby not 
referred to the Object, but simply to the subject ; 
and the pleasure can express nothing else than 

I VIl 



its harmony with the cognitive faculties which come 
into play in the reflective Judgment, and so far as 
they are in play ; and hence can only express a 
subjective formal purposiveness of the Object. For 
that apprehension of forms in the| I inagina tionT can 
never take place without the rellective Judgment, 
though undesignedly, at least comparing them with 
its faculty of referring intuiti ons to concepts. If( 
now in this comparison the I Imaginat ioillfas -lluL_ 
facult^^ of a priori intuitio ns}^is placed by means 
oT a given representation undesignedly in agree- 
ment with the Understa nding, as th e f acuhy of 
concepts, and thus a feeling of pleasure is aroused, 
tRe object must then be regarded as purposive for 
the reHective Judgment. Such a Judgment is anl 
aesthetical judgment upon the purposiveness of "thel 
Object, which does not base itself upon any present! 
concept of the object, nor does it furnish any suchj 
In the case of an object whose form (not the matter 
of its representation, or sensation), in the mere 
reflection upon it (without reference to any concept 
to be obtained of it), is judged as the ground of 
a pleasure in the representation of such an Object, 
this pleasure is judged as bound up with the re- 
presentation necessarily ; and, consequently, not only 
for the subject which apprehends this form, but for 
ever>' j udgi ng being in general. The object is then 
c:dled IbeauuTulJl and the faculty of judging by 
means of such a pleasure (and, consequently, with 
universal validity) is called CTasteT;? For since 
the ground of the pleasure is placeH' merely in the 
form of the object for reflection in general — and, | 
consequently, in no sensation of the object, and 
also without reference to any concept which any- 
where involves design — it is only the conformity I 




f VII 

to law in the empirical use of the Judgment in 
general (u nity of the Imagination with the Und er- 


in the 

subject, with which the representa- 

tion of the Object in reflection, whose conditions 
are universally valid a priori^ harmonises. And 
since this harmony of the object with the facuhies 
of the subject is [only] contingent, it brings about the 
representation of its purposiveness [only] in respect 
of the cognitive faculties of the subject. 

Here now is a pleasure, which, like all pleasure 
or pain that is not produced through the concept of 
freedom (i.e. through the preceding determination 
of the higher faculties of desire by pure Reason); 
can never be comprehended from concepts, as neces- 
sarily bound up with the representation of an object. 
It must always be cognised as combined with this 
only by means of reflective perception ; and, con- 
sequently, like all empirical judgments, it can declare 
no objective necessity and lay claim to no a priori 
validity. But the judgment of taste also claims, 
as every other empirical judgment does, to be valid 
for all men ; and in spite of its inner contingency 
this is always possible. The strange and irregular 
thing is that it is not an empirical concept, but a 
feeling of pleasure (consequently not a concept at 
all), which by the judgment of taste is attributed to 
every one, just as if it were a predicate bound up 
with the cognition of the Object, and which is con- 
nected with the representation thereof. 
~ A singular judgment of experience, e.g., when 
we perceive a moveable drop of water in an ice- 
cr)'stal, may justly claim that every other person 
should find it the same ; because we have formed 
this judgment, according to the universal conditions 
of the determinant faculty of Judgment, under the 




laws of a possible experience in general. Just in 
the same way he who feels pleasure in the mere 
rellection upon the form of an object without respect 
to any concept, although this judgment be empirical 
and singular, justly claims the agreement of all 
men ; because the ground of this pleasure is found 
in the u niversal. a lth"" gh subje ctive, cond ition of 
refl ective judgme nts, \\z., the_pu rposive harmony 
of^a n object (whether a product of nature or of 
art) with the mutual relations o f the cognitive 
facul ties (the Imagination and the Understanding). 
a harmony which is requisite for every empirical 
cognition. The pleasure, therefore, in the judgment 
of taste is dependent on an empirical representation, 
and cannot be bound up a priori with any concept 
(we cannot determine a priori what oljjeci is or ^ 
is not according to taste ; that we must find out 
by experiment). Hut the pleasure is the determin- 
ing ground of this judgment only because we are 
conscious that it rests merely on refiection and on 
the universal j.hough only subjective conditions of 

iheharmony of that reflection with the cognition 
of Objects in general, for which the for m of the 
Obj ect is purposive. 

Thus the reason why judgments of taste accord- 
ing to their possibility arc subjected to a Krilik 
is that they presuppose a principle a priori, although 
this principle is neither one of cognition for the 
Understanding nor of practice for the Will, and 
therefore is not in any way determinant a priori. 

Susceptibility to pleasure from reflection upon 
the forms of things (of Nature as well as of Art). 
indicates not only a purposiveness of the Objects 
in relation to the reflective Judgment, conformably 
to the concept of nature in the subject ; but also 


conversely a purposlveness of the subject in respect 
of the objects according to their form or even their 
formlessness, in virtue of the concept of freedom. 
Hence the a^sthetical judgment is not only related 
as a judgment of taste to the beautiful, but also 
as springing from a spiritual feeling is related to 
the sublime ; and thus the Kritik of the aesthetical 
Judgment must be divided into two corresponding 


Purposlveness may be represented in an object 
given in experience on a merely subjective ground, 
as the harmony of its form, — in the apprehension 
(apprehensio) of it prior to any concept, — with the 
cognitive faculties, in order to unite the intuition 
with concepts for a cognition generally. Or it 
may be represented objectively as the harmony 
of the form of the object with the possibility of the 
thing itself, according to a concept of it which 
precedes and contains the ground of this form. 
We have seen that the representation of purposive- 
ness of the first kind rests on the immediate 
pleasure in the form of the object in the mere 
reflection upon it. But the representation of pur- 
poslveness of the second kind, since it refers the 
form of the Object, not to the cognitive faculties 
of the subject in the apprehension of it, but to a 
definite cognition of the object under a given concept, 
has nothing to do with a feeling of pleasure in 
things, but only with the Understanding in its judg- 
ment upon them. If the concept of an object is 
given, the business of the Judgment in the use of 
the concept for cognition consists in presentation 




{exhihitio), i.e. in setting a corresponding intuition 
beside- the concept. This may take place either 
through our own Imagination, as in Art when we 
realise a preconceived concept of an object which 
is a purpose of ours ; or through Nature in itsTechnic 
(as in o!*ganised bodies) when we supply to it our con- 
cept of its purpose in order to judge of its products. 
In the latter case it is not merely the purposiveness 
of nature in the form of the thing that is represented, 
but this its product is represented as a natural 
purpose. — Although our concept of a subjective 
purposiveness of nature in its forms according to 
empirical laws is not a concept of the Object, 
but only a principle of the Judgment for furnish- 
ing itself with concepts amid the immense variety 
of nature (and thus being able to ascertain its own 
position), yet we thus ascribe to nature as it 
were a regard to our cognitive faculty accoriiing 
to the analogy of purpose. Thus we can regard 
natural beauty as the presentation of the concept 
of the formal (merely subjective) purposiveness, 
and natural purposes as the presentation of the 
concept of a real (objective) purposiveness. The 
former of these we judge of by Taste {^sthetical,by 
the medium of the feeling of pleasure), the latter 
by Understanding and Reason (logical, according 
to concepts). 

On this is based the division of the Kritik of 
[udgment into the Kritik of cesthetical and of teko- 

* logical judgment. By th e first we understand the 
fac ulty of iudgt ng_af .th^ formal purposiveness (other- 
risfi ^alled subjecti ve) of Nature by means of the 
;eling of pleasure or pai n ; by The second the faculty 

'of judging its real (objective) purposiveness by 
means of Understanding and Reason. 




I viu 

In a Kritik of Judgment the part containing the 
a'Sthetical Judgment is essential, because this alone 
contains a principle which the Judgment places quite 
a priori at the basis of its reflection upon nature ; 
viz., the principle of a formal purposiveness of nature, 
according to its particular (empirical) laws, for our 
cognitive faculty, without which the Understanding 
could not find itself in nature. On the other hand no 
reason a priori could be specifie<l, — and even the 
possibility of a reason would not be apparent from 
the concept of nature as an object of experience 
whether general or particular, — why there should be 
objective purposes of nature, i.e. things wliich are 
only possible as natural purjxises ; but the Judg- 
ment, without containing such a principle a priori in 
itself, in given cases (of certain pro<lucts), in order 
to make use of the concept of purposes on behalf 
of Reason, would only contain the rule according 
to which that transcendental principle already has 
prepared the Understanding to apply to nature the 
concept of a purpose (at least as regards its form). 

Bui the transcendental principle which represents 
a purposiveness of nature (in subjective reference to 
our cognitive faculty) in the form of a thing as a 
principle by which we judge of nature, leaves it 
quite undetermined where and in what cases I have 
to judge of a product according to a principle of 
purposiveness. and not rather according to universal 
natural laws. It leaves it to the ^^///^^/fff/ Judgment 
to decide by taste the harmony of this product (of 
its form) with our cognitive faculty (so far as this 
decision rests not on any agreement with concepts 
bu tton feeiingl . On the other hand, the Judgment 
teleologically employed furnishes conditions deter- 
minatcly under which something (e.g, an organised 

I ^111 



body) is to be judged according to the Idea of a 
purpose of nature ; but it can adduce no fundamental 
proposition from the concept of nature as an object 
of experience authorising it to ascribe to nature a 
priori Ti. reference to purposes, or even indeterminately 
to assume this of such products in actual (::x|>crienco. 
The reason of this is that we must have many 
particular experiences, and consider them under the 
unity of their principle, in order to be able to cognise, 
even empirically, objective purposiveness in a certain 
object. — The xsthelical Judgment is therefore a/ 
special faculty for judging of things according toai 
rule, but not according to concepts. The telco- 
logical Judgment is not a special faculty, but only 
the reilective Judgment in general, so far as it 
proceeds, as italways does in theoretical cognition, 
according to concepts ; but in respect of certain 
objects of nature according to special principles, viz., 
of a merely reilective Judgment, and not of a Judg- 
ment that determines Objects. Thus as regards its 
application it belongs to the theoretical part of Philo- 
sophy ; and on account of its special principles which 
ire not determinant, as they must be in Doctrine, 
ic a\u5t constitute a special part of Kritik. On 
the other hand, the Ecsthetical Judgment conti'ibutes 
nothing towards the knowledge of its objects, and 
thus must be reckoned as belonging to the Kritik 
of the judging subject and its cognitive faculties, 
only so far as they are susceptible of a priori 
principles, of whatever other use (theoretical oi 
practical) they may be. This is the propsedeuti^ 
of all Philosophy. 





The Understanding legislates a priori for nature 
as ail Object of sense — for a theoretical knowledge 
of it in a possible experience. Reason legislates a 
priori for freedom and its peculiar causality ; as the 
supersensible in the subject, for an unconditioned 
practical knowledge. The realm of the natural 
concept under the one legislation and that of the 
concept of freedom under the other are entirely 
removed from all mutual influence which they might 
have on one another (each according to its funda- 
mental laws) by the great gulf that separates the 
j supersensible from pheno mena. The concept of 
freedom determines nothmg in respect of the 
theoretical cognition of nature ; and the natural con- 
cept determines nothing in respect of the practical 
laws of freedom. So far then it is not possible to 
throw a bridge from the one realm to the other. 
But although the determining grounds of causality 
according to the concept of freedom (and the 
practical rules which it contains) are not resident 
in nature, and the sensible cannot determine the 
supersensible in the subject, yet this is possible 
conversely (not, to be sure, in respect of the cogni- 
tion of nature, but as regards th e effects of the sup ei - 
sensible upon the se nsibl e). Ims in fact is involved 
in the concept of a causality through freedom, the 
effect of which is to take place in the world accord- 
ing to its formal laws. The word cause, of course, 
when used of the supersensible only signifies the 
ground which determines the causality of natural 




things to an effect in accordance witii their proper 
natural laws, although harmoniously with the formal 
principle of the laws of Reason. Although the 
possibility of this cannot be comprehended, yet the 
objection of a con trail ict ion alleged to be found in 
it can be sufficiently answered.' — The effect in 
accordance with the concept of freedom is the final 
purpose which (or its phenomenon in the world of 
sense) ought to exist ; and the condition di the 
)ssibility of this is presupposed in nature (in the 
lature of the subject as a sensible being, that is, as 
man). The Judgment presupposes this a priori 
and without reference to the practical ; and thus 
furnishes the mediating concept between the con- 
cept^ of nature and that of freedom. It makes 
possible the transition from the conformity to law 
in accordance with the former to the final purpose 
in accordance with the latter, and this by the con- 
cept of a purpQsivencss of nature. For thus is 
cognised the possibility of the final purpose which 
alone can be actualised in nature in harmony with 
its laws. 

The Understanding by the possibility of its a 

I One of thfl \-anous pretended contradictions in this tvhole 
distinction of the causality of nniurc from :Iiat of freedom is this. 
It is objected tlwt if i speak of obsUules which nature opposes to 
causality according- to (moral) laws of freedom or of .the axuiUtncf it 
affords, I am admitting an ifsjtuencc of the former upon the latter. 
Uut if we try to understand what has been aaid, this misinterpreta- 
tion is very easy W avoid. TIk- opposition or assistance is not 
between nature and freedom, but bcuveen the fonncr as phenomenon 
and the effects of the latter as phenomena in the world of sense. 
The catisaluy of freedom itself (of pure and pr.ictical Reason) is the 
causality of a natural cause subordinated to nature (*>. of tlie 
subject considered as man and therefore as phenomenon). The 
inlclligihic, which is ilinuj^ht under freedom, contains the yround of 
the iietermination of this [natura.) cause] in a further inexplicable way 
(just as that intelligible docs which constitutes the supersensible sub- 
strate of nature). 




priori laws for nature, gives a proof that nature is 
only cognised by us as phenomenon : and implies 
ai the same lime that it has a supersensible sub- 
strate, though it leaves this quite nndetcfmined. 
The Judgment by its a priori principle for the 
judging of nature according to its possible particular 
laws, nukes the supersensible substrate (both in 
us and without us) determinable by means of the 
inteikctuai faculty. But the Reason by its practical 
a priori law determines il ; and thus the Judgment 
makes possible the transition from the realm of the 
natural concept to that of the concept of freedom. 

As regards the faculties of the soul in general, 
in their higher aspect, as containing an autonomy ; 
the Understanding is that which contains the con- 
stiiutive principles a priori for the cognitive faculty 
(the theoretical cognition of nature). For i)\e. feeling 
of pleasure and pain there is the Judgment, indepen- 
dently of concepts and sensations which relate to the 
determination of the faculty of desire and can thus 
be immediately practical. For the faculty of desire 
there is the Reason which is practical without 
the mediation of any pleasure whatever. 1 1 deter- 
mines for the faculty of desire, as a superior faculty, 
the final purpose which carries with it the pure 
intellectual satisfaction in the Object. — The con- 
cept formed by Judi^ment of a purposiveness of 
nature lx:longs to natural concepts, but only as 
a regulative principle of the cognitive faculty; 
although the a;sthetical judgment upon certain 
objects (of Nature or Art) which occasions it is, in 
respect of the feeling of pleasure or pain, a 
constitutive principle. The spontaneity in the play 
of the cognitive faculties, the harmony of which 
contains the ground of this pleasure, makes the 




above concept [of the purposlveness of nature] fit to 
be the mediating Unk between the realm of the 
natural concept and that of the concept of freedom 
in its effects ; whilst at the same time it promotes 
the sensibility of the mind to moral feeling. — The 
following table may facilitate the review of all the 
higher faculties according to their systematic unity.' 

All the faculties of the mind 

Cognitive faculties. Faculties of desire. 

Feeling of pleasure and pain. 


Conformity to law. 

Cognitive faculties 

A priori principles 

Application to 


Final purpose. 


^ It has been thought a doubtful point that my divisions in pure 
Philosophy should always be threefold. But that lies in the nature 
of the thing. If there is to be an a priori division it must be either 
analytical^ according to the law of contradiction, which is ahvays 
twofold {guodlibet ens est aut A aui non A) ; or it is synthetical. 
And if in this latter case it is to be derived from a priori concepts 
(not as in Mathematic from the intuition corresponding to the 
concept), the division must necessarily b<( trich otomy ..' Foraccor4ing 
to what is requisite for synthetical unity in general there must be 
(i) a condition, (2) a conditioned, and (3) the concept which arises 
from the union of the conditioned with its condition. 








§ I. The jitdgment of taste is ^sthctical 

In order to distinguish whether anything is 
beautiful or not, we refer the representation not 
by the Understanding to the Obj'ect for cognition, 
but by the Imagination (perhaps in conjunction 
with the Understanding) to the subject, and its 
feeling of pleasure or pain. The judgment of taste 
is therefore not a judgment of cognition, and is 
consequently not logical but zesthetical, by which we 
understand that whose determining ground can be 

1 The definition of taste which is laid don-n here is that it is the 
faculty of judging of the beautiful. IJut the analysis of judgments of 
taste must show what is required in order to call an object beautiful. 
The moments, to which this Judgment has regard in its reflection, I 
have sought in accordance with the guidance of the logical functions 
of judgment (for in a judgment of taste a reference to the Under- 
standing is always involved). I have considered the moment of 
quality first, because the testhctical judgment upon the beautiful first 
pays attention to it. 




no other i/tan subjecihc. Every reference of repre- 
sentations, even that of sensations, may be objective 
(and then it signifies the real [element] of an em- 
pirical representation) ; save only the reference to the 
feeling of pleasure and pain, by which nothing in 
the Object is signified, but through which there is 
a feeling in the subject, as it is affected by the 

To apprehend a regular, purposive building by 
means of one's cognitive faculty (whether in a clear 
or a confused way of representation) is something 
quite different from being copscious of this repre- 
sentation as connected with the sensation of 
satisfaction. Here the representation is altogether 
referred to the subject and to its feeling of life, under 
the name of the feeling of pleasure or pain. This 
establishes a quite separate faculty of distinction 
and of judgment, adding nothing to cognition, but 
only comparing the given representation in the 
subject with the whole faculty of representations, of 
which the mind is conscious in the feeling of its 
state. Given representations in a judgment can 
be empirical (consequently, aesthetical) ; but the 
judgment which is formed by means of them is 
logical, provided they are referred in the judgment to 
the Object, ••nverscly, if the given reprtscnta- 
tians are rational, but are referred in a judgment 
simply to the subject (to its feeling), the judgment 
is so far always sesthetical. 

§ 2. The satisfaction which determines the 
judginent of taste is disinterested 

The satisfaction which we combine with the 
representation of the existence of an object is called 

Dir. I • 2 





interest. Such satisfaction always has reference to 
the faculty of desire, either as its determining ground 
or as necessarily connected with its determining 
ground. Now when the question is if a thing is 
beautiful, we do not want to know whether anything 
depends or can depend on the existence of the thing 
either for myself or for any one else, but how we 
judge it by mere observation (intuition or reflection). 
If any one asks me if I find that palace beautiful 
which I see before me, I may answer: I do not like 
things of that kind which are made merely to be 
stared at. Or I can answer like that Iroquois 
Sachem who was pleased in Paris by nothing more 
than by the cook-shops. Or again after the manner 
of Rousseau 1 may rebuke the vanity of the great 
who waste the sweat of the people on such super- 
rtuous things. In fine I could easily convince myself 
that if 1 found myself on an uninhabited island with- 
out the hope of ever again coming among men, and 
could conjure up just such a splendid building by 
my mere wish, I should not even give myself the 
trouble if J had a sufficiently comfortable hut. This 
may all be admitted and approved ; but we are not now 
talking of this. We wish only to know if this mere 
representation of the object is accompanied in me 
with satisfaction, however indifferent I may be as 
regards the existence of the object of this represente- 
tion. We easily see that in saying it is beautiftd 
and in showing that 1 have taste, I am concerned, not 
with that in which 1 depend on the existence of the 
object, but with that which I make out of this re- 
presentation in myself. Every one must admit that 
a judgment about beauty, in which the least interest 
mingles, is very partial and is not a pure judgment 
of taste. We must not be in the least prejudiced in 




favour of the existence of the things, but be quite 
indifferent in this respect, in order to play the judge 
in things of taste. 

We cannot, however, better elucidate this pro- 
position, which is of capital importance, than by- 
contrasting the pure disinterested ' satisfaction in 
judgments of taste, with that which is bound up with 
an interest, especially if we can at the same time be 
certain that there are no other kinds of interest than 
those which are to be now specified. 

§ 3. The satisfaction in tfie pleasant is bound 
up with interest 

That which pkases the senses in sensation is 
PLEASANT. Here the opportunity presents itself of 
censuring a very common confusion of the double 
sense ^which the word sensation can have, and of 
calling attention to it. All satisfaction (it is said or 
thought) is itself sensation (of a pleasure). Con- 
sequently everything that pleases is pleasant because 
it pleases (and according to its different degrees or 
its relations to other pleasant sensations it is agree- 
able, lovely, delightful, enjoyable, etc.) But if this 
be admitted, then impressions of Sense which 
determine the inclination, fundamental propositions 
of Reason which determine the Will, mere reflective 
forms of intuition which determine the Judgment, 
are quite the same, as regards the effect upon the 
feeling of pleasure. For this would be pleasantness 

I A judgment upon an object of saiisfaaion may be quite dis- 
intertsteti, but yet very interesting, i.e. not baiicd upon on interest, but 
bringing an interest with it ; of ihi'i kind are all pure moral judg- 
ments. Judgments of 1.1516, however, do not in themselves est-iblish 
any interest. Only in society is it interesting to have taste : the 
reason of tliis will be sliown in the sequel 

DJV. I I 3 



in the sensation of one's state, and since in the 
end all the operations of our faculiies must issue in 
the practical and unite in it as their goal, we could 
suppose no other way of estimating things and their 
worth than that which consists in the gratification 
that they promise. It is of no consequence at all 
how this is attained, and since then the choice of 
means alone could make a difference, men could 
indeed blame one another for stupidity and in- 
discretion, but never for baseness and wickedness. 
For thus they all, each according to his own way of 
seeing things, seek one goal, that is, gratification. 

!f a determination of the feeling of pleasure or 
pain is called sensation, this expression signifies 
something quite different from what I mean when I 
call the representation of a thing (by sense, as a 
receptivity belonging to the cognitive faculty) 
sensation. For in the latter ca^e the represer^fation 
is referred to the Object, in the former simply to tl 
subject, and is available for no cognition whatevt 
nor even for that by which the subject cognises itself. 
^ In the above elucidation wc uiulerstand by the 
word sensation, an objective representation of sense ; ^ 
and in order to avoid misinterpretation, we shall call 
that, which must always remain merely subjective 
and can constitute absolutely no representation of 
an object, by the ordinary term "feeling." The 
green colour of the meadows belongs to objective 
sensation, as a perce(Ttion of an object of sense ; the 
pleasantness of this belongs to subjective sensation 
by which no object is represented, i.e. to feeling, 
by which the object is considered as an Object of 
satisfaction (which does not furnish a cognition of it). 

Now that a judgment about an object, by which 
I describe it as pleasant, expresses an interest in it, 





is plain from the fact thai by sensation it excites a 
desire for objects of that kind : consequently the 
satisfaction presupposes not the mere judgment 
about it, but the relation of \xa existence to my state, 
so far as this is affected by such an Object. Hence 
we do not merely say of the pleasant, it pleases ; but. 
it gratifies, I give to it no mere assent, but inclina- 
tion is aroused by it ; and in the case of what is 
pleasant in the most lively fashion^ there is no judg- 
ment at all upon the character of the Object, for 
those [persons] who always lay themselves out for 
enjoyment (for that is the word describing intense 
gratification) would fain dispense with all judgment. 

§ 4. The sAiisfcuHoH in the good ts bound up 
u*ith interest 

Whatever by means of Reason pleases through 
the mere concept is c.ood/ Thai which pleases only 
as a means we call go&d for sonuthing 
but that which pleases for itself is goott in itseij. 
both there is always involved the concept of 
purpose, and consequently- the relation of Reason to 
the (at least possible) volition, and thus a satisfaction 
in the presente of an Object or an action. i,e. some 
kind of interest. 

In order to 6nd anything goodL \ must altt*ays 
know what sort of a thing the object ought to be, i.e. 
I must have a concept of it. But there ts no need 
of this, to find a thing beautiful. Flowers, free 
delineations, outlines intertwined with one another 
without design and called [conventional] foli^^e, 
have no meanmg, depend on no definite concept, 
and yet they please. The satisfaction in the beauti- 
ful must depend on the redection upon an object. 

1)IV. I I 4 



leading to any concept (however Indefinite) ; and il 
is thus distinguished from the pleasant which rests 
entirely upon sensation. 

It is true, the Pleasant seems In many cases to 
be the same as the Good. Thus people are 
accustomed to say that all gratification (especially If 
it lasts) is good in itself: which is very much the 
same as to say that lasting pleasure and the good 
are the same. I3ut we can soon see tliat this is 
merely a confusion of words ; for the concepts 
which properly holong to these expressions can 
in no way be interchanged. The pleasant, which, 
as such, represents the object simply in relation 
to Sense, must first be brought by the con<!ept of 
a purpose under principles of Reason, in order to 
call it good, as an object of the Will. Bui that there 
is [involved] a quite different relation to satisfaction 
in calling that which gratifies at the same time ^od^ 
mav be seen from the fact that in the case of the 
good the question always is, whether it is mediately 
or immediately good (useful or good in itself) ; but 
on the contrary in the case of the pleasant there can 
be no question about this' at all, for the word always 
signifies something which pleases immediately. (The 
same is applicable to what I call beautiful.) 

Even in common s|>eech men distinguish the 
Pleasant from the Good. Of a dish which stimulates 
the taste by spices and other condiments we say un- 
hesitatingly that it is pleasant, though it is at the 
same time admitted not to be good ; for though it Im- 
mediately delights tlie senses, yet mediately, i.e. con- 
sidered by Reason which looks to the after results, 
it displeases. Even in the judging of health wc may 
notice this distinction. It is immediately pleasant 
to every one possessing It (at least negatively, i.e. as 





the absence of all bodily pains). But in order to say 
that it is good, it must bt; considered by Reason 
with reference to purposes ; viz., that it is a state 
which makes us fit for all our business. Finally in 
respect of happiness every one believes himself 
entitled to describe the greatest sum of the pleasant- 
ness of life (as regards both their number and their 
duration) as a true, even as the highest, good. 
However Reason is opposed to this. Pleasantness 
is enjoyment. And if we were concerned with this 
alone, it would be foolish to be scrupulous as regards 
the means which procure it for us, or [to care] 
whether it is obtained passively by the bounty of 
nature or by our own activity and work. But 
Reason can never be persuaded that the existence 
of a man who merely lives for enjoyment (however 
busy he may be in this point of view), has a worth 
in itself; even if he at the .same time is conducive as 
a means to the best enjoyment of others, and shares 
in all their gratifications by sympathy. Only what 
he does, without reference to enjoyment, in full 
freedom and independently of what nature can pro- 
cure for him passively, gives an [absolute '] worth to 
his presence [in the world] as the existence of a 
person ; and happiness, with the whole abundance of 
its pleasures, is far from being an unconditioned good.- 
However, notwithstanding ail this difference be- 
tween the pleasant and the good, they both agree 
in this that they are always bound up with an 
Interest in their object ; so are not only the pleasant 

' fSecond Edition.] 

^ An ubligation to enjoyment is a manifest zbsurdit)'. Thus the 
obligation tu u!) actions which hnve merely eujoymciit for tlieir aim 
cui only be a pretended otic ; however spiritually it may be con- 
ceived (or decked out), even if it is a mystical, or so-called heavenly, 

DIV. t I 5 



{5 3), and the mediate good (the useful) which is pleas- 
ing as a means towards pleasantness somewhere, but 
iilsothat which is good absolutely and in everj' aspect, 
viz., moral good, which brings with it the highest 
interest. For the good is the Object of will (/>. of 
a faculty of desire determined by Reason). But to 
wish for something, and to have a satisfaction in its 
existence, i.e. to take an interest in it. are identical. 



§ 5. Comparison of ik€ three specifically different 
kinds of satisfactimi 

The pleasant and the good have both a reference 
to the faculty of des[re ; and they bring with them — 
the former a satisfaction pathologically conditioned 
(by impulses, sliwuli)^the latter a pure practical 
satisfaction, whiclT is determined not merely l>y the 
representation of the object, but also by the repre- 
SQnted connection oC^he subject with the existence 
of the object. [It is not merely the object that 
pleases, but also its existence.^] On the other hand, 
the judgment of taste is merely co niejnp lative ; i.e. 
it is a judgment which, indifferent as regards the 
existence of an object, compares its character with 
the feeling of pleasure and pain. But this con- 
templation itself is not directed to concepts ; for 
the judgment of taste is not a cognitive judgment 
(either theoretical or practical), and thus is not 
dosed on concepts, nor has it concepts as hs purpose. 

The Pleasant, the Beautiful, and the Good, desig- 
nate then, three different relations of representa- 
tions to the feeling of pleasure and pain, in reference 
to which we distinguish from each other objects or 
methods of representing them. And the expressions 
■■ [Second Ediiion.] 





corresponding to each, by which we mark our com- 
placency in them, are not the same. That which 
(iRATiFiEs a man is called pkasant ; that which 
merely pleases him is deatiJifiU', that which is 
ESTEEMER [or approved'^^ by him, i.e. that to which 
he accords an objective worth, \% good. Pleasantness 
concerns irrational animals also ; but Beauty only 
concerns men, i.e. animal, but still rational, beings— 
not merely qua rational (c-g. spirite), but qua animal 
also ; and the Good concerns every rational being 
in general This is a proposition which can only 
be completely established and explained in the 
sequel. We may say that of all these three kinds 
of satisfaction, that of taste in the Beautiful is alone 
a disinterested andyVr^" satisfaction; for no interest, 
either of Sense or of Reason, here forces our assent. 
Hence we may say of satisfaction that it is related 
in the three aforesaid cases to inciiuaJiou, io favour, 
or to respect. Now favour is the only free satis- 
faction. An object of inclination, and one that is 
proposed to our desire by a law of Reason. leave us 
no freedom in forming for ourselves anywhere an 
object of pleasure. All interest presupposes or 
generates a want ; and, as the determining ground 
of assent, it leaves the judgment about the object 
no longer free. 

As regards the interest of inclination in the case 
of the Pleasant, every one says that himger is the 
best sauce, and everything that is eatable is relished 
by people with a healthy appetite ; and thus a satis- 
faction of this sort shows no choice directed by 
taste. It Is only when the want is appeased that we 
can distinguish which of many men has or has 
not taste. In the same way there may be manners 
' [Second EduionJ 

unr* 1 1 6 




(conduct) without virtue, jxiliteness without good- 
will, decorum without modesty, etc. For where 
the moral law speaks there is no longer, objectively, 
a free choice as regards what is to be done ; and to 
display taste in its fulfilment (or in judging of 
another's fulfilment of it) is something quite 
different from manifesting the moral attitude of 
thought. For this Involves a command and 
generates a want, whilst moral tsisie only plays with 
the objects of satisfaction, without attaching itself to 
one of them. 


Tasic is the faculty of judging of an object or a ^ 

method of representing it by an cuiireiy disinteresUd j 

satisfaction or dissatisfaction.- The object of such J 
satisfaction is called bcauiiful} 



§ 6, The bcatttijul is ihal which apart froin conceptsi 
is represe^Ued as the object of a universal satisfaction 

This explanation of the beautiful can be derived 

1 {Uebcrweg [Minis out {Hist, of Phil.^ ii. 528, Eng. Trans.) that 
Mendelssohn hatt already called aUention to the disinlereslcdtiess of 
our sniis&trtion in (he Meautiful. " It appears," says Mendelssohn, 
*<lo be .1 particular mark of the beautiful, chat it is contemplated with 
quiet satisfiiction, tliat it pl<;asc:>, even thou^jh it be not in our 
possession, and even ihoujjh we br never so far removed from the 
desire to put it to our use." Hot, of course, as Ucberwey remarks, 
Kant'§ conception of disinterestedness extends far beyond the idea of 
merely not dcsinng to possess the object.] 





from the preceding explanation of it as the object of 
an entirely disinterested satisfaction. For the fact 

i of which every one is conscious, that the satisfaction 
is for him quite disinterested, implies in his judg- 
ment a ground of satisfaction for all men. For 
since it does not rest on any inclination of the 
subject (nor upon any other premeditated interest), 
but since the jxirson who judges feels himself quite 
fr£€ as regards the satisfaction which he attaches to 
the object, he cannot find the ground of this satisfac- 
tion in any private conditions connected with his 
own subject; and hence it must be regarded as 
grounded on what he can presuppose in ever)' other 
person. Consequently he must believe that he has 
reason for attributing a similar satisfaction lo every 
one; He will therefore speak of the beautiful, as if 
beauty were a characteristic of the object and the 
judgment logical (constituting a cognition of the 
Object by means of concepts of it) : although it is 
only zesthetical and involves merely a reference of 
the representation of the object lo the subject. For 
it has this similarity to a logical judgment that we 
can presu]>pose its validity for all men. But this 
universality cannot arise from concepts ; for from 
concepLs there is no transition to the feeling of 
pleasure or pain (except in pure practical laws, 
which bring an interest with them such as is not 
bound up with the pure judgment of taste). 'Conse- 
quently the judgment of taste, accompanied with the 
consciousness of separation from all interest, inust 
claim validity for every man, without this universality 
depending on Objects. That is, there must be 
bound up with it a title to subjective universality. }/ 




§ 7. Comparison of the Beauiifttl with the Pleasant 
and the Good l)y means 0/ the above cfiaradcristic 

As regards the Pleasant ever)' one is content 
that his jmigniunl, which he bases ujxtn ^jrivate 
feeling, and by which he says of an object that it 
pleases him, should be limited merely to his own 
person. Thus he is quite contented that if he 
says "Canary wine is pleasant," another man may 
correct his expression and remind him that he ought 
to say ** It is pleasant to me.'' And this is the case 
not only as regards the taste of the tongue, the 
palate, and the throat, but for whatever is pleasant to 
any one's eyes and ears. To one violet colour is soft 
and lovely, to another it is washed out and dead. One 
man likes the lone of wind instruments, another that 
of strings. To strive here with the design of 
reproving as incorrect another man's judgment 
which is different from our own, as if the judgments 
were logically opposed, would be folly. As regards 
the pleasant therefore the fundamental proposition 
is valid, every one has his own taste (the taste of 

The case is quite different with the Beautiful. 
It would (on tho contrary) be laughable if a man 
who imagined anything to his own taste, thought to 
justify himself by saying; "This object (the house 
we see, the coat that person wears, the concert we 
hear, the poem submitted to our judgment) is 
beautiful yi?/- me," For he must not call it beaniiful 
if it merely pleases him. Many things may have for 
him charm and plcrLsanlness ; no one troubles him- 
self at that ; but if he gives out anything as beautiful, 
he supposes in others the same satisfaction — he 




juil^es not merely for himself, but for every one, a 
speaks of beauty as if it were a property of things. 
Hence he says " the thing is beautiful " ; and he does 
not count on the agreement of others with this his^ 
judgment of satisfaction, because he has found this ™ 
agreement several times before, but he demands it of 
them. He blames them if they judge otherwise and 
.he denies them taste, which he nevertheless requires 
from them. Here then we cannot say that each man 
has his own particular taste. For this would be as. 
much as to say that there is no taste whatever ; i.e\ 
no aesthetical judgment, which can make a rightful 
claim upon every one's assent. 

At the same time we find as regards the Pleasant 
that there is an ^reement among men in theii 
judgments upon it. in regard to which we deny Tasn 
to some and attribute it to others ; by this not^ 
meaning one of our organic senses, but a faculty 
of judging in respect of the pleasant generally.^ 
Thus we say of a man who knows how to entertain 
his guests with pleasures (of enjoyment for all 
the senses), so that they ai'e all pleased. *' he has 
taste." But here the universality is only taken 
comparatively ; and there emerge rules which ar^H 
only general (like all empirical ones), and not uni- 
versal \ which latter the judgment of Taste upon^ 
the beautiful undertakes or lays claim to. It is a^ 
judgment in reference to sociability, so far as this 
rests on empirical rules. In respect of the Goot 
it is true that judgments make rightful claim t< 
validity for every one ; but the Good is rei>resentc( 
only by means of a concept as the Object of 
universal satisfaction, which is the cas& neither witl 
the Pleasant nor with the Beautiful. 

§ 8. The univirsalily of (he satisfaction is represented 
in a judgment of Taste only as subjective 

This particular determination of the universality 
of an a;sthctical jiulgmcnt, which is to be met with in 
a Judgment of taste, is noteworthy, not indeed for 
the logician, but for the transcendental philosopher. . 
It requires no small trouble to discover its origin, 
Init we thus dettct a property of our cognitive 
faculty which without this analysis would remain 

First, we must be fully convinced of the fact 
that in a judgment of taste (about the Beautiful) 
the. satisfaction in the object is imputed to every oney\ 
presout being based on a concept (for then it would* 
in ihe Good). Fuiiher, this 'claim to universal 
V-rfA^iity so essenlialiy belongs lo a judgment by 
which we describe anything as beautiful, that if 
this were not thought in it, it would never come 
into our thoughts to use the expression at all, 
but everything which- pleases without a cpncepti 
would be counted as pleasant. In respect of the 
latter every one has His own opinion ; and no one 
assumes in another, agreement with his judgnrcnt 
of taste, which is always the case in a judgment 
of taste about beauty. I^may call the first the tastei 
of Sense, the se.cond the taste of Reflection ; so 
far as the first lays down mere private judgments, 
and the second judgments supposed to be generally 
valid (public), but in both cases cesthetical (not prac- 
tical) judgments about an object merely in respect 
of the relation of its representation to the feeling 
of pleasure and pain. Now here is something 
strange. As regards the taste of Sense not only 

1 < 



l>ART 1 

does experience show ihat its judgment (of pleasure 
or pain connected with anything) is not valid univer- 
sally, hut every one is content not to impute agree- 
ment with it to others (although actually there 
is often found a very extended concurrence in 
these judgments). On the other hand, the taste 
of Reflection has its claim to the universal validity 
of its judgments (about the beautiful) rejected often 
enough, as experience teaches ; although it may find 
it ])Ossible (as it actually does) to represent judg- 
ments which can demand this universal agreement. 
In fact it imputes this to every one for each of its 
judgments of taste, without the persons that judge 
disputing as to the possibility of such a claim ; 
although in particular cases they cannot agree a? to 
the correct application of this faculty. yste 

Here we must, in the first place, remark thnot * 
universality which does not rest on concept If 
Objects (not even on empirical ones) is not Ic^icaj/ 
but xsthetical, i.e. it involves no objective quantity 
of the judgment but only that which is subjective.: 
For this I use the expression general iiaHdity which 
signifies the validity of the reference of a representa- 
tion not to the cognitive faculty, but to the feeling 
of pleasure and pain for every subject. (We can 
avail ourselves also of the same expression for the 
logical quantity of the judgment, if only we prefix 
objective to "universal validity," lo distinguish it 
from that which is merely subjective and a*sthetical.) 

A judgment widi objective universal validity 
is also always valid subjectively ; i.e. if the judg- 
ment holds for everything contained under a givem 
concept, it holds also for every one who represents 
an object by means of this concept. But from a 
stidjectivc universal validity^ Le. a,*sthetical and resting 




I for th; 


on no concept, we cannol 
logical ; because that kind of judgment does not 
extend to the Object. IJut therefore the .Estheiical 
universality which is ascribed to a judgment must 
be of a particular kind, because it does not unite 
the predicate of beauty with the concept of tKc 
Object, considered in its whole logical sphere, and 
yet extends it to the whole sphere of judging 

In respect of logical quantity all judgments of 
taste are singular judgments. For because I must 
refer the object immediately to my feeling of pleasure 
and pain, and that not by means of concepts, they 
cannot have the quantity of objective generally 
valid judgments. Nevertheless if the singular re- 
presentation of the Object of the judgment of taste 
in accordance with the conditions determining the 
latter, were transformed by comparison into a con- 
cept, a logically universal judgment could result there- 
from. £.g. \ describe by a judgment of taste the 
rose, that I see, as hcautiful. But the judgment 
which results from the comparison of several singular 
judgments, " Roses in general are beautiful " is no 
longer described simply as a^sthctical, but as a logical 
judgment based on an iesthetical one. Again the 
judgment " The rose is pleasant " (to use) is, 
although iEsthetical and singular, nol^ a judgment 
of Taste but of Sense. It is distinguished from the 
former by the fact that the judgment of Taste carries 
with it an asthclicai quantity of universality, i.e. of 
validity for every one; which cannot tx? found in 
a judgment about the Pleasant. It is only judgments 
about the Good which — although they also determine 
satisfaction in an object, — have logical and not merely 
aesthetical universality ; for they arc valid of the 

.£1. L. 




Object, as cognitive of it, and thus are valid for every 


If we judge Objects merely according to con- 
cepts, then all representation of beauty is lost., 
Thus there can be no rule according to which 
any one is to be forced to recognise anything as 
beautiful We cannot press [upon others] by the 
aid of any reasons or fundamental propositions 
our judgment that a coal, a house, or a llower is 
beautiful. People wish to submit the Object to 
their own eyes, as if the satisfaction in it depended 
on sensation ; and yet if we then call the object 
beautiful, we believe that we speak with a universal 
voice, and wc claim the assent of ever)- one. although 
on the contrary all private sensation can only decid^ 
for the observer himself and his satisfaction. 

We may .see now that in the judgment of taste 
nothing is postulated but such a univcrsai voice, 
in respect of the satisfaction without the intei-vention 
of concepts ; and thus the possibility of an asthetical 
judgment that can, at the same time, be regarded 
as valid for ever}- one. The judgment of taste itself 
does not postuiate the agreement of every one (for 
that can only be done by a logically universal judg- 
ment because it can adduce reasons).; 1t only im- 
putes this agreement to every one, as a case of the 
rule in respect of which it expects, not confirma-l 
tion by concepts, but assent from others. The 
universal voice is, therefore, only an Idea (we do 
not yet Inquire upon what it rests). It may be 
uncenain whether or not the man, who believes that 
he is laying down a judgment of taste, is, as a matter 
of fact, judging in conformity with that Idea ; but 
that he refers his judgment thereto, and. consequently, 
that it is intended to be a judgment of taste, he 

oiv. 1 1 9 





announces by the expressfon "beauty." He can 
be quite certain of this for himself by the mere 
consciousness of the separating off everj^thing be- 
longfng to the Pleasant and the Good from the 
satisfaction which is left ; and this is all for which he 
promises himself the agreement of evciy one — a claim 
which would be justifiable under these conditions, 
provided only he did not often make mistakes, and 
thus lay down an erroneous judgment of taste. 

9. Investigation of the qitcstion whether in the 
'^judgimnt of taste the feeling of pleasure precedes 
or follows the judging of the object 

The solution of this question is the key to the 
Kritik of Taste, and so is worthy of all attention. 

If the pleasure in the given object precedcs.i 
and it is only its universal communicability that is 
to be acknowledged in the judgment of taste about 
die representation of the object, there would be a 
contradiction. For^iuch pleasure would be ifothing"^ 
different from the mere pleasantness in the sensation, 
and so in accordance with its nature coul^ have only 
private validity, because it is inmiediately dependent 
on the representation through which the object is 

I Hence, it is the universal capability' of com: 
munication of the mental state in the given re- 
presentation which, as the subjective condition of 
the judgment of taste, must be fundamental, and 
must have the pleasure in the object as its con- 
sequent But nothing can be universally com-, 
munlcatcd except cognition and representation, so) 
far as it belongs to cognition. For it is only thus 
that this latter can be objective ; and only through 


this has it a universal point of reference, with which 
the representative power of every one is compelled 
to harmonise. If the determining ground of ouN 
judgment as to this universal communicability of the 
representation is to be merely subjective, i.e. is con- 
ceived independently of any concept of the object, 
it can be nothing else than the stiite of mind, which 
is to be met with iif the relation of our representative 
powers to each other, so far as they refer a given 
representation to cogniiion in general. ' 

The cognitive powers, which are involved by 
this representation, are here in free play, because 
no definite concept limits them to a definite' rule 
of cognition. Hence, the state of mind in this 
representation must be a feeling of the free play i 
of the representative powers In a given representa- 
tion with reference to a cognition in general. Now 
a representation by which an object is given, 
that is to become a cognition in general, requires 
Imagination, for the gathering together the manifold 
of intuition, and Understanding, for the unity of 
the concept uniting the representations. This state ^ 
of free play of the cognitive faculties in a re- 
presentation by which an object is given, must be 
universally communicable; because cognition, as 
the determination of the Object with which given 
representations (in whatever subject) are to agree, 
is the only kind of representation which is valid 
for every one. 

The subjective universal communicability of the 
mode of representation in a judgment of taste, 
since it is to be possible without presuj)posing a 
definite concept, can refer to nothing else than the 
state of mind in the free play of the Imagination 

' [First Edition lias /^ir/«-w/<?r.] 





and the Understanding (so far as they agree with 
each other, as is requisite for fognition in general). 
We are conscious that this subjective relation, 
suitable for cognition in general, must be valid for 
every one, and thus must be universally com- 
municable, just as if it were a definite co£jnition, 
resting always on that relation as its subjective 
condition. • 

This merely subjective (xsthetical) judging of the ' 
bject, or of the representation by which it is given, 
precedes_the pleasure in the same, and is the ground 
of this pleasure in the harmony of the cognitive 
faculties ;/but on that univergality of the subjective 
conditions for judging of objects is alone based 
the universal subjective validity of the satisfaction 
bound up by us with the representation of the object 
that we call beautiful. | 

That the power of communicating one's state of 
mind, even though only in respect of the cognitive 
faculties, carries a pleasure with it ; this we can easily 
show from the natural f)roi>ension of man towards 
sociability (empirical and psychological). But this 
is not enough for our design. The pleasure that 
we feel is. in a judgment of taste, necessarily imputed 
by us to every one else ; as if, when we call a thing 
beautiful, it is to be regarded as a characteristic of 
the object which is determined in it according to 
concepts; though beauty, without a reference, to 
the feeling of the subject, Is nothing by itself. But 
we must reserve the examination of this question 
until we have answered that other; "If and how 
itsthetical judgments are possible a priori}'' 

We now occupy ourselves with the easier 
question, in what way we are conscious of a. mutual 
subjective harmony of the cognitive powers with 



/TAffT'S KK/rtK OF J(/OG.\fENr 


one another in the judgment of taste ; is it 
jesthetically by mere internal sense and sensation ^ 
or is it intellectually by the consciousness of our 
designed activity, by which we bring them into 
play ? 

If the given representation, which occasions the 
judgment of taste, were a concept uniting Under- 
standing and Imagination in the judging of the 
object, into a cognition of the Object, the con- 
sciousness of this relation would be intellectual 
(as in the objective schematism of the judgment of 
which the Kritik' treats). But then the judgment 
would not be laid down in reference to pleasure and 
pain, and consequently would not be a judgment of 
taste. But the judgment of taste, independently of 
concepts, determines the Object in. respect of 
satisfaction and of tlie predicate of beauty. 
Therefore that subjective unit}' of relation can only 
make itself known by means of sensation. The 
I excitement of both faculties (Imagination and 
Understanding) to indeterminate, but yet, through 
the stimulus of the given sensation, harmonious 
lactivity, viz., that which belongs to cognition in 
'general, is the sensation whose universal conimuni- 
cability is postulated by the judgment of taste. An 
objective relation can only be thought, but yet, so 
far as it is subjective according to its conditions, 
can be felt in its effect on the mind ; and, of a 
relation based on no concept (like the relation of the 
representative powers to a cognitive faculty in 
general), no other consciousness is possible than 
that through the sensation of the effect, which 
consists in the more lively play of both mental powers 
^the Imagination and the Understanding) when 
* {I.e. The Kritik of Pure Reason, Analytic, bk. ii. c. i.] 

l4>rr. 1 1 lo 



animated by mutual agreement. A representation 
which, as individual and apart from comparison with 
'others, yet has an agreement with the conditions of 
universality which it is the business of the Under- 
standing to supply, brings the corrnitive faculties 
into that proportionate accord which we require for 
all cognition, and so r^ard as holding for every one 
who is determined to judge by means of Under- 
standing and Sense in combination {i.e. for every 


The beautifnl is that which pleases universally 
without [requiring] a concept. 



§ 10. Of purposivatess in general 

If we wish to explain what a purpose is accord- 
ing to its transcendental determinations (without 
presupposing anything empirical like the feeling of 
pleasure) [we say thatj the purpose is the object of 
a concept, in so far as the concept is regarded as 
;the cause of the object (the real ground of its 
possibility) ; and the causality of a concept in respect 
of its Object is its purposiveness {forma finalis). 
Where then not merely the cognition of an object, 
but the object itself (its form and existence) is 




thought as an effect only possible by means of the^ 
concept of this latter, there we think a purpose. , 
The representation of the efifect is here the deter- fl 
mining ground of its cause and precedes it. ' The 
consciousness of the causality of a representation, for 
maintaining the subject in the same state, may here 
generally denote what we call pleasure ; while on 
the other hand pain is that representation which 
contains the ground of the determination of the 
state of representations into their opposite [of 
restraining or removing them ']. 

The faculty of desire, so far as it is determinable 
to act only through concepts, i.e. in conformity with 
the representation of a purpose, would be the Will.*] 
But an Object, or a state of mind, or even ani 
action, is called purposive, although its possibility 
does not necessarily presuppose the representa- 
tion of a purpose, merely because its possibility 
can be explained and conceived by us only so far 
as we assume for its ground a causality according 
to purposes, i.e. in accordance with a will wITich 
has regulated it according to the representa- 
tion of a certain rule. There can be, theni-" 
purposiveness without* purpose, so far as we do not 
place the causes of this form in a Will, but yet can* 
only make the explanation of its possibility 
intelligible to ourselves by deriving it from a Will. 
Again, we are not always forced to regard what 
we observe (in respect of its possibility) from the point 

' [Second Edition. Mr. Herbert Spencer expresses much morc^^ 
cnncisely what Kant has in his mind here. " Pleasure ... is A^| 
fcehng which wc seek to bring into consciousness and retain there \^^ 
pain is ... a feeling which we seek to j-el out of consciousness and 
to keep out." Prituif>tes of Psyiho/ogy, l^ 1 2 5.] 

3 [The editions of Harteiiisiein and Kirclunann omit oUtte befo 
zwcckf whi':h makc^ havoc of the sentence. It is correctly printt 
by Ro&enkr;\fu.] 



of view of Reason. Thus we can at least observe a 
purposiveness according 10 form, without basing it 
on a purpose (as the material of the nexus JituiHs), 
and remark it in objects, although only by reflection. 

§ ri. T/ic judgment of taste has nothing at its 
basis but the form of the purposiveness of an 
object {or of its mode of representation^ 

Ever>' purpose, if it be regarded as a ground ofr 
satisfaction, always carries with it an interest— as ihe_( 
detennining ground of the judgment — about the 
object of pleasure. Therefore no subjective pur- 
pose can lie at the basis of the judgment of taste. 
But also the judgment of taste can be determined 
by no representation of an objective purpose, />. of 
the possibility of the object itself in accordance 
with principles of purposive combination, and 
consequently by no concept of the good ; because 
it is an arsthctical and not a cognitive judgment. It 
therefore has to do with no concept of the character 
and internal or external ]>ossibility of tJie object by 
means of this or that cause, but merely with the 
relation of the representative powers to one 
another, so far as they are determined by a 

Now this relation in the determination of an 
object as beautiful is bound up with the feeling of 
pIe;Lsurc, which is declared by the judgment of taste 
to be valid for every one ; hence a pleasantness, 
[merely] accompanying the representation, can as little 
contain the determining ground [of the judgment] as 
the representation of the perfection of the object and 
the concept of the good can. Therefore it can be 
nothing else than the subjective purposiveness in the 



VK\t I 

representation of an object without any purpose 
(either objective or subjective) ; and thus it is the 
mere form of pur[X)siveness in the representation by 
which an object is given to us, so far as we are 
conscious of it, which constitutes the satisfaction 
that we without a concept jutlge to be universally 
communicable ; and, consequently, this is the deter- 
mining ground of the judgment of taste. 

§ 1 2. The judgment of taste rests on a priori 

To establish a priori the connection of the 
feeling of \\ pleasure or pain as an effect, with any 
representation whatever (sensation or concept) as its 
cause, is absolutely impossible ; for that would be a 
[particular]' causal relation which (with objects of 
experience) can always only be cognised a posteriori^ 
and through the medium of experience itself. We 
actually have, indeed, in the Kritik of practical 
Reason, derived from universal moral concepts 
a priori the feeling of respect (as a special and 
peculiar modification of feeling which will not 
strictly correspond either to the pleasure or the 
pain that we get from empirical objects). But 
there wc could go beyond the bounds of exi>erience 
and call in a causality which rested on a super- 
sensible attribute of the subject, viz., freedom. And 
even there, properly speaking, it was not ihAsfee/iftg 
which we derived from the Idea of the moral as 
cause, but merely the determination of the will. 
I3ut the state of mind which accompanies any 
determination of the will is in itself a feeling of 
pleasure and identical with it, and therefore does 
' [First Edition.] 

DIV. I f 12 



not follow from it as its effect. This last must only 
be assumed if the concept of the moral as a good 
precede the determination of the will by the law ; for 
in that case the pleasure that is bound up with the 
concept could not be derived from it as from a mere 

Now the case is similar with the pleasure in 
;esthctical judgments, only that here It is merely^, 
contemplative and does not bring^ about an interest 
in the Object, whilst on the other hand in the moral 
judgment it is practical.' The consciousness of tlia 
mere formal purposiveness in the play of the subjects 
cognitive ix>wers, in a representation through which 
an object is given, is the pleasure itself; because it 
contains a determining ground of the activity of the 
subject in respect of the excitement of its cognitive 
powers, and therefore an inner causality (which is 
purposive) in respect of cognition in general without 
however being limited to any definite cognition ; and 
consequently contains a mere form of the subjective 
purposiveness of a representation in an a.*sthetical 
judgment. This pleasure is in no way practical; 
neither like that arising from the pathological 
ground of pleasantness, nor that from the intellectual 
ground of the presented good. But yet it involves 
causality, viz., of maintaining without further de- 
sign the state of the representation itself and the 
occupation of the cognitive powers. Wc Unger 

* [Cf. Metaphysic of MoralSy Imrod. I. "The pleasure which is 
DfiCCssaHly bound up with the desire (of the object whose representa- 
tion affects feeling) may be called praitictU pleasure, whether it b* 
cause or effect of the desire. On the canlrar>', the pleasure which 
is not necessarily bound up with the deiirc of the object, and 
which, therrfnrr, Is at hnttom not a pleasure in the existence of the 
Object of the rcproseniation, but clings to the representation only, 
may be called iucfc contemplative pleasure or passive satisfaction. 
The feclitig of the btler kind of pleasure we call /oy/c,"] 





I over the contemplation of the beautiful, because this 
I contemplation strengthens and reproduces itself. 
/ which is analogous to (though not of the same kind 
I as) that lingering which takes place when a [physical] , 
charm in the representation of the object repeatedly 
arouses the attention, the mind being jjassive. 

§ 13. The pure judgment of taste is independent 
of chann and emotion 

Every interest spoils the judgment of taste an< 
takes from its impartiality, especially if the pur- 
posiveness is not, as with the interest of Reason, 
placed before the feeling of pleasure but groundet! 
on it. This last always happens in an ccstheiical 
judgment upon anything so far as it gratifies or 
grieves us. Hence judgments so affected can la] 
no claim at all to a universally valid satisfaction, 
at least so much the less claim, in proportion aj 
there are sensations of this sort among the di 
termining grounds of taste. That taste is alwa^ 
barbaric which needs a mixtvire of chamis arH 
'^emotions in order that there may be satisfaction, am 
still more so if it make these the measure of its 
assent. ■ 

Nevertheless charms are often not only taken 
account of in the case of beauty {which properly 
speaking ought merely to be concerned with form) as 
contributor)' to the a;sthetical universal satisfaction^ 
but they are passed off as in themselves beauties. 
and thus the matter of satisfaction is substituted for 
the form. This misconception, however, which like 
so many others, has something true at its basis, may 
l)c removed by a careful determination of these 

A judgment of taste on which charm and emotu 

t)tV. I 1 14 



have no influence (although they may be bound up 
with the satisfaction in the beautiful). — which there- 
fore has as its tietcrniining ground merely the pur- 
posiveness of the form, — is 3. pure judgment 0/ taste. 

§ J 4. Ehtciiiation by means of examples 

y^sthetical judgments can be divided just like 
theoretical (logical) judgments into empirical and 
>ure. The first assert pleasantness or unpleasant- 
less ; the second assert the beauty of an object or 
of the manner of representing it. The former are 
judgments of Sense (material aisthetical judgments) ; 
the latter [as formal '] are alone strictly judgments 
of Taste. 

A judgnient of taste is therefore pure, only so 
far as no merely empirical satisfaction is mingled 
with its deterniining ground. But this always 
happens if charm or emotion have any share in the 
judgment by which anything is to be described as 

Now here many objections present themselves, 
which fallaciously put forward charm not merely as 
a necessar)' ingredient of beauty, but as alone 
sufficient [to justify] a thing's being called beautiful. 
A mere colour, e.g. the green of a grass plot, a mere 
tone- (as distinguished from sound and noise) like 
that of a violin, are by most people described as 
beautiful in themselves ; although both seem to have 
at their basis merely the matter of representations, 
viz., simply sensation, and therefore only deserve to 
be called pleasant. But we must at the same time 
remark that the sensations of colours and of tone 
have a right to be regarded as beautiful only in so 
' [Second Edition.] 

■^^ ^ 


A'Ayr's KRtriK of judgment 


far as ihcy iwcpurc. ' This Is a determination which 
concerns their form, and is the only [elementj of 
these representations which admits with certainty of 
universal communicability ; for we cannot assume 
that the quality of sensations is the same in all 
subjects, and we can liardly say that the pleasantness 
of one colour or the tone of one musical instrument 
is judged preferable to that of another in the same * 
way by every one. ' 

If we assume with Eitier that colours are iso- 
chronous vibrations {pu/sus) of the Kther, as sounds 
are of the air in a state of disturbance, and,-—. 
what is the most important, — that the mind 
not only perceives by sense the effect of these in 
exciting the organ, but also perceives by reflection 
the regular play of impressions (and thus the form of 
the combination of different representations) — which 
! very much doubt- — then colours and tone cannot 
be reckoned as mere sensations, but as the formal 
determination of the unity of a manifold of sensa- 
tions, and thus as beauties. 

But " pure " in a simple mode of sensation means 
that its uniformity is troubled and interrupted by no 
foreign sensation, and it belongs merely to the form ; 
because here we can abstract from the (juality of 
that mode of sensjition (abstract from the colours 
and tone, if any, which it represents). Hence all 
simple colours, so far as they are pure, are regarded 
as beautiful ; composite colours have not this advan- 
tage, because, as they are not simple, we have no 
standard for judging whether they should be called 
pure or not. 

1 [First Edition has gUj£^e\ Second Edition has solehr.'\ 
' [First Edition hns nicht ru.'cific for sekr notifies but this was 
apparently only a misprint.] 

niv. 1 1 14 



But as r^ards the beauty attributed to the 
object on account of its form, to suppose it to be 
capable of augmentation through the charm of the 
object is a common error, and one very prejudicial 
to genuine, uncorruptcd, well-founded taste. We 
can doubtless add these charms to beauty, in order to 
interest the mind by the representation of the object, 
apart from the bare satisfaction [received] ; and thus 
they may serve as a recommendation of taste and its! 
cultivation, especially when it is yet crude and un-| 
exercised. But they actually do injury to the judg-' 
ment of taste if they draw attention to themselves as 
the grounds for judging of beauty. So far are theyi 
from adding to beauty that they must only be admitted 
by indulgence as aliens ; and provided always that 
they do not disturb the beautiful form, in cases when 
taste is yet weak and unexercised. 

In painting, sculpture, and in all the formative arts 
— in architecture, and horticulture, so far as they are 
beautiful arts — the deiineation is the essential thing ; 
and here it is not what gratifies in sensation but what 
pleases by means of its form that is fundamental for| 
taste. The colours which light up the sketch belong 
to the charm ; they may indeed enliven ^ the 
object for sensation, but they cannot make it worthy 
of contemplation and beautiful. In most cases they 
are rather limited by the requirements of the beauti- 
fubform : and even where charm is permissible it is 
ennobled solely by this. 

Hvery form of the objects of sense (both of 
external sense and also mediately of internal) is 
iixihitr figure ox play. In the latter case it is either 
play of figures (in space, viz., pantomime and 
dancing), or the mere play of sensations (in time). 

* [Betelt tnofhett ; First Edilian had Mi'eit.] 



The charm of colours or of the pleasant tones of an 
instrument may be added : but the delineation in the 
first case and the composition in the second consti- 
tute the proper object of the pure judgment of taste. 
To say that the purity of colours and of tones, or 
their variety and contrast, seems to add to Ixfauiy, 
does not mean that they supply a homogeneous 
addition to our satisfaction in the form because they 
are pleasant in themselves ; but they do so. because 
they make the form more exactly, definitely, and 
completely, intuitible, and besides by their charm 
[excite the representation, whilst they'] awaken and 
fix our attention on the object itself. 

Even ft'hat we call ornaments [parerga"], i.e. 
those things which do not belong to the complete 
representation of the object internally as elements 
but only externally as complements, and which 
augment the satisfaction of taste, do so only by their 
form : as for example [the frames of pictures,^ or] 
the draperies of statues or the colonnades of palaces. 
But if the ornament does not itself consist in beauti- 
ful form, and if it is used as a golden frame is used, 
merely to recommend the painting by its charm, it 
is then axWcA Jincry and injures genuine beauty. 

Amotion, that is a sensation in which pleasant- 
ness is produced by means of a n\omcntary check- 
ing and a consequent more powerful outflow of the 
vital force, does not belong at all to beauty. But 
sublimity [with which the feeling of emotion is 
bound up '] requires a different standard of judg- 
ment from tliat which is at the foundation of taste ; 
and thus a pure judgment of taste has for its deter- 
mining ground neither charm nor emotion, in a word. 

* [Second Krillion.] 
=• [Second Kdiiion.] 

' [Second Edition.) 
* [Second Kditiun.J 

mv. Ills 



no sensation as the material of the aisthetical judg- 

§ 15. The judgment of taste is quite independent 
of the concept of pe^fcctioji 

Objective purposiveness can only be cognised by 
means of the reference of the manifold to a definite 
purpose, and therefore only through a concept. 
From this alone it is plain that the Rcautiful, the 
judging of which has at its basis a merely formal 
purposiveness, i.e. a purposiveness without purpose, 
is quite Independent of the concept of the Good ; 
because the latter presupposes an objective pur- 
posiveness. i.e. the reference of the object to a 
definite purpose. 

Objective purposiveness is either external, i.e. I 
the utiiity\ or internal, i.e. the perfection of the 
object. That the satisfaction in an object, on 
account of which we call it beautiful, cannot rest 
ou the representation of its utility, is sufficiently 
obvious from the two preceding sections ; because 
in that case it would not be an immediate satis- 
faction in the object, which is the essential condition 
of a judgment about beauty. But objective internal 
purposiveness, i.e. perfection, comes nearer to the 
predicate of beauty ; and it has been regarded by 
celebrated philosophers' as the same as beauty, 
with the proviso, if it is tiwught in a confused way. 
It is of the greatest importance in a Kritik of Taste 
to decide whether beauty can thus actually be 
resolved into the concept of perfection. 

* [Kani probably refers hero 10 ilaum^anen (1714-1761), who was 
ihc first writer to giic the name of .iisihctics to the Philosophy of 
Taile. He defined bcaiity s> " perfection apprehtniitd through the 
senses." Kani is said 10 have used as a ttxl-book at lectures a work 
by Meier, a pupil of Baumgarten's, on tbi& subject.] 




To judge of objective purposiveness we always 
need not only the concept of a purpose, but (if that 
purposiveness is not to be external utility but 
internal) the cojicept of an internal purpose which 
shall contain the ground of the internal possibility 
of the object. Now as a purpose in general is that 
whose concept can be regarded as the ground of the 
possibility of the object itself; so, in order to 
represent objective purposiveness in a thing, the 
concept of wkai sort of thing U is to be must come 
first. The agreement of the manifold in it with 
this concept (which furnishes the rule for combining 
the manifold) is the {jua/itative perfecti&ti of the 
thing. Quite different from this is tpuintitatiife per- 
fection, the completeness of a thing after its kind, 
which is a mere concept of magnitude (of totality).' 
In this what the thing ought to be is conceived as 
already determined, and it is only asked if it has 
all its requisites. The formal [element] in the repre- 
» sentation of a thing, i.e. the agreement of the manifold 
with a unity (it being undetermined what this ought 
to be), gives to cognition no objective purposiveness 
whatever. For since abstraction is made of this 
unity as purpose (what the thing ought to be), 
nothing remains but the subjective purposiveness 
of the representations in the mind of the Intuiting 
subject. And this, although it furnishes a certain 
purposiveness of the representative state of the 

' [CC Preface to the Mchiphysicat Etanetits 0/ Jzth'cj, v. : " The 
word perfection is liable to many misconceptions. It is sometimes 
understood as a concept belonging to Transcendent al I'hilosophy ; 
viz. the concept of the Maltty of the manifold*, which, taken together, 
constitutes a 'I'hing ; sometimes, again, it is understood as belonging 
to Teleolo^, so that it signifies the agreement of the characteristics 
of a thing with dt fiurfiote. Perfection in the former sense might he 
called ^uivt/t'Mtt've (material), in the latter gunUtafive (formal) ikt- 

oiv. Ills 



subject, and so a facility of apprehending a given 
form by the Imagination, yet furnishes no perfection 
of an Object, since the Object is not here conceived 
by means of the concept of a purpose. For example, 
if in a forest I come across^ a plot of sward, round 
which trees stand in a circle, and do not then represent 
to myself a purpose, viz. that it is intended to serve 
for country dances, not the least concept of per- 
fection is furnished by the mere form. But to 
represent to oneself a formal objective purposiveness 
without piirijose, i.e. the mere form of a perfection 
(without any matter and without the concept of that 
with which it is accordant, even if it were merely 
the idea of conformity to law in general ') is a 
veritable contradiction. 

Now the judgment of taste is an x-sthetical judg- 
ment, i,€. such as rests on subjective grounds, the 
deiennining ground of which cannot be a concept, , 
and consequently cannot be the concept of a definite 
purpose. Therefore by means of beauty, regarded 
as a formal subjective purposiveness. there is in no 
way thought a perfection of tlie object, as a purposive- 
ness alleged to be formal, but which is yet objective. 
And thus to distinguish between the concepts of 
the Beautiful and the Good, as if they were only 
dilTerent in logical form, the first being a con- 
fused, the second a clear concept of perfection, but 
identical in content and origin, is quite fallacious. 
For then there would be no specific difference 
between them, but a judgment of taste would be 
iLs nuich a cognitive judgment as the judgment by 
which a thing is described as good ; just as when 
the ordinary man says that fraud is unjust he bases 

' [Tlie words even if . . . general were added in ihe Second 

Edit ton. J 




his jutlgment on confused grounds, whilst the 
philosopher bases it on clear grounds, but both on ^ 
identical principles of Reason. I have already, " 
however, said that an aesthetical judgment is unique 
of its kind, and gives absolutely no cognition (not fl 

'even a confused cognition) of the Object : this is only 
supplied by a logical judgment. On the contrary, 
it simply refers the representation, by which an 
Object is given, to the subject ; and brings to our 
notice no characteristic of the object, but only the 
purposive form in the determination of the repre- 
sentative powers which are occupying themselves 
therewith. The judgment is called jesthetical just 
because its determining ground is not a concept, 
but the feeling (of internal sense) of that harmony in 
the play of the mental powers, so far as it can be felt 
in sensation. On the other hand, if we wish to call 
confused concepts and the objective judgment based 
on them, cesthcticul. we will have an Understand- 
ing judging sensibly or a Sense representing its 
Objects by means of concepts [both of which are 
contradictory.^] The faculty of concepts, be they 
confused or clear, is the Understanding; and al- 
though Understanding has to do with the judgment 
of taste, as an a:schetical judgment (as it has with all 
judgments), yet it lias to do with it not as a faculty 
by which an object is cognised, but as the faculty 
which determines the judgment and its representa- 
tion (witliout any concept) in accordance with its 

, relation to the subject and the subject's internal 
feeling, in so far as this judgment may be possible 
in accordance with a universal rule. 

[Second Editioa] 

bir. I i i6 



§ 1 6. The jndgmcnt of taste, by which an object is 
declared to be beautiful under the condition of a 
definite concept, is not pure 

There are two kinds of beauty ; free beauty 
(ptiichritudo vaga) or merely dependent beauty 
{pukhritiido ad/taereus). The first presupposes no 
concept of what the object ought to be ; the second 
does prcsupjx)se such a concept and the perfection 
of the object in accordance therewith. The first is 
called the (self-subsistent) beauty of this or that 
thing : the second, as dependent upon a concept 
(conditioned beauty)^ is ascribed to objects which 
come under the concept of a jjaflicular purpose. 

Flowers are free natural beauties. Hardly any 
one but a botanist knows what sort of a thing a 
flower ought to be ; and even he, though recognis- 
ing in the llower the reproductive organ of the 
plant, pays no regard to this natural purpose if 
he is passing judgment on the (lower by Taste. 
There is then at the basis of this judgment no 
perfection of any kind, no inlcrn;il purposiveness, 
to which the collection of the manifold is referred. 
Many birds (such as the parrot, the humming bird, 
the bird of paradise), and many sea shells are 
beauties in themselves, which do not belong to 
any object determined in respect of its purpose 

concepts, but please freely and in themselves. 
S^Fso delineations tl la grecque, foliage for borders 
or wall-papers, mean nothing in themselves ; they 
represent nothing — no Object under a definite 
concept, — and are free beauties. We can refer 
to the same class what are called in music phantasies 
(/>. pieces without any theme), and in fact all music 
without words. 



L bo's 




In the judging of a free beauty (according to 
the mere form) the judgment of taste is pure, 
rhere is presupposed no concept of any purpose, 
which the manifold of the given object is to serve, S 
and which tht:refure is to be represented in it. By " 
such a concept the freedom of the Imagination which 
disports itself in the contemplation of the figure 
would be only limited. 

But human beauty (/.t\ of a man, a woman, 
or a child), the beauty of a horse, or a building 
^be it church, palace, arsenal, or summer-house) 
presupposes a concept of the purpose which deter- 
mines what the thing is to be, and consequently 
a concept of its perfection ; it is therefore adherent 
beauty. Now as the combination of the Pleasant 
(in sensation) with Beauty, which properly is only 
concerned with form, is a hindrance to the purity of 
the judgment of taste ; so also is its purity injured by 
the combination with Beaut)' of the Good (viz. that 
manifold which is good for the thing itself in accord- 
ance with its purpose). 

We could add much to a building which would 
immediately please the eye, if only it were not 
to be a church. We could adorn a figure with all 
kinds of spirals and light but regular lines, as the 
New Zealanders do with their tattooing, if only it 
were not the figure of a human being. And again 
this could have nmch finer features and a more pleas- 
ing and gentle cast of countenance provided it were 
not intended to represent a man, much less a warrior. 

Now the satisfaction in the manifold of a thing" 
in reference to the internal purpose which determines 
its possibility is a satisfaction grounded on a concept ; 
but the satisfaction in beauty is such as presupposes 
no concept, but is immediately bound up with the 



CtV. 1 I 16 



representation through which the object is given i 
(not through which it is thought). If now the judg- J 
mcnt of Taste in respect of the beauty of a thing is 
made dependent on the purpose in its manifold, like 
ajudgment of Reason, and thus limited, it is no longer 
a free and pure judj^ment of Taste. 

It is true that taste gains by this combination of 
asthelical with iniellectual satisfaction, inasmuch as 
it becomes fixed ; and though it is not universal, yet 
in respect to certain purposivcly determined Objects 
it becomes possible to prescribe rules for it. These, 
however, are not rules of taste, but merely rules 
for the unification of Taste with Reason, i.e. of the' 
Bt-'autiful with the Good, by which the former 
becomes available as an instrument of design in 
respect of the latter. Thus the tone of mind which 
is self-maintaining and of subjective universal validity 
is subordinated to the way of thinking which can be 
maintained only by painful resolve, but is of objective 
universal validity. Properly speaking, however, per- 
fection gains nothing by beauty or beauty by 
perfection ; but, when we compare the representa- 
tion by which an object is given to us with the 
Object (as regards what it ought to be) by means 
of a concept, we cannot avoid considering along witli 
it the sensation in the subject. And thus when 
both Slates of mind are in harmony our ivhoU faatUy 
of representative power gains. 

A judgment of taste, then, in respect of an object 
with a defmite internal purijose, can only be pure. 
if either the person judging has no concept of this 
purpose, or else abstracts from it in his judgmenL 
Such a person, although forming an accurate judg- 
ment of taste in judging of the object as free beauty, 
would yet by another who considers the beauty in 


it only as a dependent attribute (who looks to the 
purpose of the object) be blamed, and accused of 
false taste : although both are right in their own 
way, the one in reference to what he has before 
his eyes, the other in reference to what he has in 
his thought. By means of this distinction we can 
settle many disputes about beauty between judges 
of taste ; by showing that the one is speaking of 
free, the other of dependent, beauty, — ^that ihe 
6rst is making a pure, the second an applied, 
judgment of taste. 

\\'l. Of the Ideal of beauty 

/ There can be no objective rule of taste which 

shall determine by means of concepts what is 
^ beautiful. For every judgment from this source 
is X'sthetical ; i.e, the feeling of the subject, and not a 
concept of the Object, is its determining ground. 
To seek for a principle of taste which shall furnish, 
by means of definittt concepts, a universal criterion 
of the beautiful, is fruitless trouble ; because what 
is sought is impossible and self-contradictory. The 
universal communicability of sensation (satisfaction 
or dissatisfaction) without the aid of a concept — 
the agreement, as far as is possible, of all times 
and peoples as regards this feeling in the repre- 
sentation of certain objects — this is the empirical 
criterion, although weak and hardly sufficing for 
probability, of the derivation of a taste, thus con- 
firmed by examples, from the deep-lying general 
grounds of agreement in judging of the forms under 
which objects are given. 

Hence, we consider some products of taste as 
exemplary. Not that taste can be acquired by 

Trtv. 1 1 17 



imitating others ; Tor it must be an original facultj*. 
He who imitates a model shows, no doubt. In so 
far as he attains to it, skill ; but only shows taste 
in so far as he can judge of this model itself.' It 
follows from hence that the highest model, the 
archetype of taste, is a mere Idea, which everj* one 
must produce in himself; and according to which 
he must judge every Object of taste, every example 
of judgment by taste, and even the taste of every 
one. Idea properly means a rational concept, and 
Ideal the representation of an individual being, 
regarded as adetjuate to an ldea.= Hence that 
archetype of taste, which certainly rests on the 
indeterminate Idea that Reason has of a maximum, 
but which cannot be represented by concepts, but 
only in an individual presentation, is better called 
the Ideal of the beautiful. Although we are not 
in possession of this, we yet strive to produce 
it in ourselves. But it can only be an Ideal of 
the Imagination, because it rests on a presentation 
and not on concepts, and the Imagination is the 
faculty of presentation. — How do we arrive at such 
an Ideal of beauty? A priori, or empirically? 
Moreover, what species of the beautiful is suscep- 
tible of an Ideal ? 

First, it is well to remark that the beauty for 

1 Models of taste as regards the arts of speech must be 
composed in .1 dcnd and learned liinguagc. The first, in order 
tliat Uicy may not suffer that chaiiye which inevitably comes over 
living languages, in which noble expressions heromc flat, common 
ones antiquated, and newly created ones have only a short circulation. 
The second, because learned langH'igcs have a grammar which is sub- 
ject to no tvanlon clian^e of fashion, but the rules of which are 
preserved unchanged. 

- [This distinction between an hUa and an ideal, as also the 
further contnut between Ideals of the Reason and Ideals of the 
Imagination, had already been given by Kant in the Kritik of Pur£ 
Heason, Dialectic, bk. ii. c. iil. § i.] 



fAai t 

which an Ideal is to be sought cannot be vagtte 
beauty, but is fived by a concept of objective 
purposiveness ; and thus it cannot appertain to the 
Object of a quite pure judgment of taste, but to 
that of a judgment of taste which is in part in- 
tellectual. That is, in whatever grounds of judg- 
ment an Ideal is to be found, an Idea of Reason 
in accordance with definite concepts must lie at 
its basis; which determines a priori the purpose 
on which the internal possibility of the object rests 
An Ideal of beautiful flowers, of a beautiful piece 
of furniture, of a beautiful view, is inconceivable. 
But neither can an Ideal be represented of a beauty 
dependent on definite purposes, e.g. of a beautiful 
dwelling-house, a beautiful tree, a beautiful garden, 
etc. ; presumably because their purpose is not 
sufficiently determined and fixed by the concept, 
and thus the purpostveness is nearly as free as 
in the case of vague beauty. The only being which 
has the purpose of its existence in itself is man, who 
can determine his purposes by Reason ; or, where 
he must receive them from external perception, yet 
can compare them with essential and universal 
purposes, and can judge this their accordance 
rJEsthetically. This utan is, then, alone of all objects 
in the world, susceptible of an Ideal of beauty ; as 
it is only humanity in his person, as an intelligence 
that is susceptible of the Ideal oi perfection. 

But there are here two clemonLs. First, there 
is the iESthetical normal Idea, which is an individual 
intuition (of the Imagination), representing the 
standard of our judgment [upon man] as a thing 
belonging to a particular animal species. Secondly, 
there is the rational Idea which makes the purposes 
of humanity, so far as they cannot be sensibly 


oiv. 1 1 17 



reprcserUed, the principle for judging of a figure 
through which, as their phenomenal effect, those 
purposes are revealed. The normal Idea of the 
figure of an animal of a particular race must take its 
elements from experience. But the greatest 
purposiveness in the construction of the figure, 
that would be available for the universal standard 
of aesthetical judgment upon each individual of this 
species — the image which is as it were designedly 
at the basis of natures Tcchnic, to which only 
the whole race and not any isolated individual is 
adequate — this lies merely in the Idea of the 
judging [subject]. And this, with its proportions, 
as an xsthetical Idea, can be completely presented 
in comreto in a model. In order to make intelligible 
in some measure (for who can extract her whole 
secret from nature?) how this comes to pass, we 
shall attempt a psychological explanation. 

We must remark that, in a way quite Incompre- 
hensible by us, the Im^igination can not only recall, 
on occasion, the signs for concepts long past, 
but can also reproduce the image of the figure 
of the object out of an unsix;akable number of 
objects of different kinds or even of the same kind. 
Further, if the mind is concerned with comparisons, 
the Imagination can, in all probability, actually 
though unconsciously let one image glide into 
another, and thus by the concurrence of several of 
the same kind come by an average, which serves as 
the common measure of all. Every one has seen a 
thousand full-grown men. Now if you wish to 
judge of their normal size, estimating it by means of 
comparison, the Imagination (as I think) allows a 
great number of images (perhaps the whole 
thousand) to fall on one another. If I am allowed 



yART 11 

to apply here the analogy of optica! presentation, 
it is in the space where most of them a^e combiiieil 
and inside the contour, where the place is illumi-l 
nated with the most vivid colours, that the avcrage\ 
size is cognisable ; which, both in height and 
breadth, is equally far removed from the extreme 
bounds of the greatest and smallest stature. Andi 
this is the stature of a b&uiiful man. (We could 
arrive at the same thing mechanically, by adding 
together all thousand magnitudes, heights, breadths, 
and thicknesses, and dividing the sum by a thou- 
sand. But the Imagination does this by means 
of a dynamical effect, which arises from the various a 
impressions of such figures on the organ of internal ™ 
sense.) If now in a similar way for this average 
man we seek the average head, for this head fl 
the average nose, etc., such figure is at the basis 
of the normal Idea in the country where the 
comparison is instituted. Thus necessarily under 
these empirical conditions a negro must have a 
different normal Idea of the beauty of the [human 
figure] from a white man, a Chinaman a different 
normal Idea from a European, etc. And the same 
is the case with the model of a beautiful horse or ■ 
dog (of a certain breed). — This iwrmai Idea is not 
derived from proportions got from experience [and 
regarded] as definiic rules : but in accordance with 
it rules for judging become in the first instance 
possible. It is the image for the whole race, which 
floats among all the variously different intuitions of 
individuals, which nature takes as archetype in her 
productions of the same species, but which appears 
not tu be fully reached in any individual case. It is fl 
by no means the whole archetype of beauty in the " 
race, but only the form constituting the indis- 

t>lV. ill? 



pensable condition of all beauty, and thus merely 
correctness in tht: [mental] presentation of the race. 
It is. like the celebrated Doryphorus of Polycleius^ 
the rule (Myron s^ Cow might also be used thus for 
its kind). 'It can therefore contain nothing 
specifically characteristic, for oiher^vise it would not 
be the normal I dm for the race. Its presentation 
pleases, not by its beaufy. but merely because it 
contradicts no condition, under which alone a thing 
of this kind can be beautiful. The presentation is 
merely correct' 

We must yet distinguish the normal Idea of the 
beautiful from the Ideal, which latter, on grounds 
already alleged, we can only expect in the human 
figure. In this the Ideal consists in the expression 
of the morale without which the object would not 
please universally and thus positively (not merely 
negatively in an accurate presentation). The 
visible expression of moral Ideas that rule men 


' [I'olycletus of Argos nourished about 430 b.c. His statu? of 
the >j^fjriVrtrfr(/J<ir>'/*Ai'''//i), afterwards bcrame known as the Cit$ton\ 
because in it the artist was supposed 10 have embodied a perfect 
repr&cntation of the idcnl of the human figure.] 

' [niis W.1S a celebrated statue executed by Mjtoii, a Greek 
sculptor, contcniporar>" with Polycletus. It is frfi[ucntly mentioned 
in the Creek Aniho!o(>y.] 

-* It will be found that a perfectly regular countenance, such as a 
pointer might wish to have for a model, ordinarily tells us nothing ; 
because it contains nothing characteristic, and therefore rather 
expresses the. Idea of tikc race than the specific [traits] of a person. 
The exaggenitton of .1 characteristic uf this kind, i.t. such as does 
jriolence to the normal Idea (the purposlveness of the race) is called 
(a^atur^. Kxpcricncc also shnws that these (|uite regular 
countenances commonly indicate internally only a mediocre man ; 
pre&umably (if it may be assumed that external nature cxprciscs the 
proportions of internal) because, if no disposition exceeds 
that proptirtion which is rct|uisiic in order to constitute a man free 
from faults, lothing can be expected of what is called ^fm'as, in 
which tuiturc seems to dc)>art from the ordinary relations of the 
ment;il powers on behalf of some special one. 




inwardly, can indeed only be got from experience;' 
but to make its connection with all which our 
Reason unites with the morally good in the Idea of the: 
highest purposiveness, — goodness of heart, purity, 
strength, peace, etc., — visible as it were in bodily 
manifestation (as the cfTect of that which is inter- 
nal), requires a union of pure Ideas of Reason with 
great imaginative power, even in him who wishesl 
to judge of it. still more in him who wishes to 
present it. The correctness of such an Ideal of 
beauty is shown by its permitting no sensible charm , 
to mingle with the satisfaction in the Object and yetfl 
allowing us to take a great interest therein. This 
shows that a judgment in accordance with such a 
standard can never be purely a;sthetical. and tha 
judgment in accordance with an Ideal of beauty i: 
not a mere judgment of taste. 


Beauty is the form of the purposiveness of an. 
object, so far as this is perceived in it %>jithottt an^ 
representation of a purpose.^ 

1 It might be objected to this explanation that there are things, ii 
which wc see a purposive form H-ithout cognising any purpose in 
ttiein, like llie stone implements often i;ot from old scpulchml tumuli 
with .1 hole In them as if for a h.indle. These, although they plainly 
indicate by their shape a puqwsis-encss of which we do not know 
the purpose, arc ncvenhclcss not described as bcautifui. But if wi 
regard a thin]{ as a work of art, that is cnouf^b to make us admit 
thai its shape has reference to some design and defmite pui 
And hence there is no immediate satisfaction in the contrmplatioi^ 
of it. On the other hand a flower, e.ff. a tulip, is regarded 
beautiful ; because in perceiving it \ve find a ccruin purposivenc 
which, in our judgment, is referred to no purpose at all. 





§ 1 S. What the inodaiity in a judgmeni of 

iasU is 

1 can say of every representation that it is at \ 
\ea&\. possibie that (as a cognition) it should be bound 
up with a pleasure. Of a representation that I 
caJl pleasant I say that it tulually excites pleasure 
in me- But the beautiful we think as having a n 
necessary reference to satisfaction. Now this neces- 
sity is of a peculiar kind. It is not a theoretical 
objective necessity ; in which case it would be 
cognised a priori that every one will feel iKi^ satis- 
faction in the object called beautiful by me. It is 
not a practical necessity ; in which case, by con- 
cepts of a pure rational will serving as a rule for 
freely acting beings, the satisfaction is the necessary 
result of an obj'ective law and only indicates that we 
absolutely (without any further design) ought to 
act in a certain way. But the necessity which is 
thought in an iesthetical judgment can only be called 
exemplary ; i.e. a necessity of the assent of all to a "^ 
judgment which is regarded as the example of a 
universal rule that wc cannot state. Since an a:stheti- 
cal judgment is not an objective cognitive judg- 
ment, this necessity cannot be derived from defniile 
concepts, and is therefore not apodictic. Still less ♦ 
can it be inferred from the universality of experience 
(of a complete agreement of judgments as to the 
beauty of a certain object). For not only w^ould 




experience hartlly furnisli sufficiently numerous 
vouchers for this ; but also, on empirical judgments 
we can base no concept of the necessity of these 

§ 19. The subjective necessity, which we ascribe 
to the Judgment 0/ taste, is condit totted 

The judgment of taste requires the agreement] 
of every one ; and he who describes anything a: 
beautiful claims that every one ought to give his 
approval to the object in question and also describe 
it as beautiful. The ought in the aesthetical judgment) 
is therefore pronounced in accordance with all the! 
data which are required for judging and yet is only 
conditioned. We ask for the agreement of every 
one else, because we have for it a ground that is 
common to all ; and we could count on this agree- 
ment, provided we were always sure that the case was) 
correctly subsumed under that ground as rule ol 

§ 20. The cotidition of necessUy which ajttdgment 
of taste asserts is the Idea of a commou sense 

If judgments of taste (like cognitive judgments) 
had a definite objective principle, then the person 
who lays them down in accordance with this latter 
would claim an unconditioned necessity for his judg-B 
ment. If they were devoid of all principle, like those 
of the mere taste of sense, we would not allow them 
in thought any necessity whatever. Hence they 
must have a subjective principle which determines 
what pleases or displeases only by feeling and not 
by concepts, but yet with universal validity. But 
such a principle could only be regarded as a co?nmon 

VI\\ f I 21 



sense, whicli is essentially diRerent from common 
Understanding which people sometimes call common 
Sense (sensus comtnunis) ; for the latter does not 
judge by feeling but always by concepts, although 
ordinarily only as by obscurely represented principles. 
Hence it is only under the presupposition that 
there is a common sense (by which wc do not 
understand an external sense, but the effect resulting 
from the free play of our cognitive powers) — it is 
only under this presupposition. I say, that the judg- 
ment of taste can be laid down. 

§ 21. Have we ground /or presupposing a common 

sense ? 

Cognitions and judgments must, along with the 
conviction that accompanies them, admit of universal 
communicability ; for otherwise there would be no 
harmony between them and the Object, and they 
would be collectively a mere subjective play of the 
representative powers, exactly as scepticism desires. 
But if cognitions are to admit of communicability*, 
so must also the state of mind. — i.e. the accordance 
of the cognitive powers with a cognition generally, 
and that proportion of them which is suitable for a 
representation (by which an object is given to us) 
in order that a cognition may be made out of it — 
admit of universal communicability. For without this 
as the subjective condition of cognition, cognition 
as an effect could not arise. This actually always 
takes place when a given object by means o^ Sense 
excites the Imagination to collect the manifold, and 
the Imagination in its turn excites the Understand- 
ing to bring about a unity of this collective process 
in concepts. But this accordance of the cognitive 




powers has a different proportion according to the 
variety of the Objects which are given. However, it, 
must be such that this internal relation, by which on< 
mental faculty is excited by another, shall be gener- 
ally the most beneficial for both faculties in respeci 
of cognition (of given objects); and this accordance 
can only be determined by feeling (not according to 
concepts). Since now this accordance itself must 
admit of universal communicability, and consequently 
also our feeling of it (in a given representation), and 
since the universal communicability of a feeling 
presupposes a common sense, we have grounds foi 
assuming this latter. And this common sense is 
assumed without relying on psychological observa- 
tions, but simply as the necessaiy condition of th( 
universal communicability of our knowledge, which 
is presupposed in every Logic and in every prin-j 
ciple of knowledge that is not sceptical. 

§ 22. The necessity of i/te universal agreement thai 
is thought in a judgment of taste is a subjectiv^^ 
necessity, which is irprcsented as objective under 
tJu presupposition of a common sense ^ 

In all judgments by which we describe anything" 
as beautiful, we allow no one to be of another 
opinion; without however grounding ourjudgmentfl 
on concepts but only on our feeling, which we there- 
fore place at ius basis not as a private, but as a 
common, feeling. Now this common sense cannot^ 
be grounded on experience ; for it aims at justifying^ 
judgments which contain an ought* \ t does not say 
that every one xvill agree with my judgment, but] 
that he ought. And so common sense, as ai 
e.\ample of whose judgment I here put forward myl 

DIV. I I 2S 




judgment of taste and on account of which I attri- 
bute to the latter an exemplary validity, is a mere 
ideal norm, under the supposition of which I have a 
right to make into a rule for every one a judgment 
that accords therewith, as well as the satisfaction in 
an Object expressed in such judgment. For the 
principle, which concerns the agreement of different 
judging persons, although only subjective, is yet 
assumed as subjectively universal (an Idea necessary 
for every one) ; and thus can claim universal assent 
(as if it were objective) provided we are sure that we 
have correctly subsumed [the particulars] under it. 

This indeterminate norm of a common sense is 
actually presupposed by us ; as is shown by our 
claim to lay down judgments of taste. Whether 
there is in fact such a common sense, as a consti- 
tutive principle of the possibility of experience, 
or whether a yet higher principle of Reason 
makes it only into a regulative principle for pro- 
ducing in us a common sense for higher purposes : 
whether therefore Taste is an original and natural 
faculty, or only the Idea of an artificial one yet to 
be acquired, so that a judgment of taste with Its 
assumption of a universal assent in fact, is only a 
requirement of Reason for producing such harmony 
of sentiment ; whether the ought, i.e. the objective 
necessity of the confluence of the feeling of any one 
man with that of every other, only signifies the 
possibility of arriving at this accord, and the judg- 
ment of taste only affords an tixample of the applica- 
tion of this principle : these questions we have 
neither the wish nor the power to investigate as 
yet ; w6 have now only to resolve the faculty of taste 
into its elements in order to unite them at last in the 
Idea of a common sense. 






The beaiUifnl is that which without any concepi 
is cognised as the object of a necessaiy satisfaction. 




If we seek the result of the preceding analysi 
we find that everything runs up into this concept o 

1 Taste, that it is a faculty for judging an object in 
reference to the \n\d.g\nAX\ovCs free cofi/ormify io law. 
Now if in the Judgment of taste the Imagination mus<H 
be considered in its frcetlom, it is in the first place 
not regarded as reproductive, as it is subject to th 
laws of association, but as productive and sponianeou 
(as the author of arbitrary forms of possible ia 
tuition). And although in the apprehension of a 
given object of sense it is tied to a definite form of 
this Object, and so far has no free play (such as that 
of poetry) yet it may readily be conceived that thefl 
object can furnish it with such a form containing a 
collection of the manifold, as the Imagination itself, 
if it were left free, would project in accordance with 
the conformity to law of the Understanding \ 
general. But that the imaginative power s\\ou\^ b 
free and yet of itself conformed to law, i.e,^ bringing 
autonomy with it, is a contradiction. The Under- 
standing alone gives the law. If, however, thefl 
Imagination is compelled to proceed according to a 
definite law, its product in respect of form is deter- 
mined by concepts as to what it ought to be. Bu 
then, as is above shown, the satisfaction is not iha 



niV. I I 22 



in the Beautiful, but in the Good- (in perfection, at 
any rate in mere formal perfoction) ; and the judg- 
ment is not a judgment of taste. Kence it is a 
conformity to law without a law ; and a subjective 
agreement of the Imagination and Understanding, 
— without such an objective agreement as there is 
when the representation is referred to a definite 
concept of an object, — can subsist along with the free , 
conformity to law of the Understanding (which is 
also called purposiveness without purpose) and with 
the peculiar feature of a judgment of taste. 

Now geometrically regular figures, such as a 
circle, a square, a cube, etc., are commonly adduced 
by critics of taste as the simplest ami most indis- 
putable examples of beauty ; and yet they are called 
regular, because we can only represent them by 
regarding them as mere presentations of a definite 
concept which prescribes the rule for the figure 
(according to w^hich alone it is possible). One of 
these two must be wrong, either that judgment of 
the critic which ascribes beauty to the said figures, 
or ours, which regards purposiveness apart from a 
concept as requisite for beauty. V 

Hardly any one will say that a man must have taste 
in order that he should find more satisfaction in a 
circle than in a scrawled outline, in an equilateral and 
equiangular quadrilateral than in one which is oblique, 
irregular, and as it were deformed, for this belongs to 
the ordinary Understanding and Is not Taste at all. 
Where, e.g., our design is to judge of the size of an 
area, or to make intelligible the relation of the parts 
of it, when divitled, to one another and to the whole, 
then regular figures and those of the simplest kind are 
needed, and the satisfaction does not rest immediately 
on the aspect of the figure, but on its availability for 





all kinds of possible designs. A room whose walls 
form oblique angles, or a parterre of this kind, even 
every violation of symmetry in the figure of animals 
[e.g. being one-eyed), of buildings, or of flower beds, 
displeases, because it contradicts the puq>ose of the 
thing, not only practically in respect of a definite 
use of it, but also when we pass judgment on it as 
regards any possible design. This is not the case 
in the judgment of taste, which when pure com- 
bines satisfaction or dissatisfaction,- — without any 
reference to its use or to a purpose, — with the mere 
consideration of the object. 

The regularity which leads to the concept of an 
object is indeed the indispensable condition {conditio 
sine qua nofi) for grasping the object in a single 
representation and determining the manifold in its 
form. This determination is a ])urpose in respect of 
cognition, and in reference to this it is always bound 
up with satisfaction (which accompanies the execu- 
tion of every, even problematical, design). There is 
here, however, merely the approval of the solution 
satisfying a problem, and not a free and indefinite 
purposive entertainment of the mental powers with 
what we call beautiful, where the Understanding is 
at the service of Imagination and not z>ice versa. 

In a thing that is only possible by means of design, 
— a building, or even an animal, — the regularity 
consisting in symmetry must express the unity 
of the intuition that accompanies the concept of 
purpose, and this regularity belongs to cognition. 
But where only a free play of the representative 
powers (under the condition, however, that the 
Understanding is to suffer no shock thereby) is to 
be kept up, in pleasure gardens, room decorations, 
all kinds of tasteful furniture, etc., regularit)' that 

D!V. 1 f 13 



shows constraint is avoided as much as possible. 
Thus in the English taste in gardens, or in bizarre 
taste in furniture, the freedom of the Imagination is 
pushed almost near to the grotesque, and in this 
separation from every constraint of rule, we have the 
case, where taste can display its greatest perfection 
in the enterprises of the Imagination. 

All stiflf regularity (such as approximates to 
mathematical regularity) has something in it re- 
pugnant to taste : for our entertainment in the 
contemplation of it lasts for no length of time, 
but it rather, in so far as it has not expressly in 
view cognition or a definite practical purpose, pro- 
duces weiiriness. On the other hand that with 
which Imagination can play in an unstudied and 
purposive manner is always new to us, and one 
does not get tired of looking at it. Marsdcn in 
his description of Sumatra makes the remark that 
the free beauties of nature surround the spectator 
everywhere and thus lose their attraction for him.^ 
On the other hand a pepper-garden, where the stakes 
on which this plant twines itself form parallel rows, 
had much attractiveness for him, if he met with it 
in the middle of a forest. And he hence infers that 
wild beauty, apparently irregular, only pleases as a 
variation from the regular beauty of which one has 
seen enough. But he need only have made the 
experiment of spending one day in a pepper -garden, 
to have been convinced that, if the Understanding 
has put itself in accordance with the order that it 
always needs by means of regularity, the object will 
not entertain for long, — nay rather it will impose a 
burdensome constraint upon the Imagination. On 

J [See Tfu History of Sumatra^ by W. Marsden (London, 1 783), 




the other hand, nature, which there is prodigal in its 
variety even to luxuriance, that is subjected to no 
constraint of artificial rules, can supply constant food 
for ffiste. — Even the song of birds, which we can 
bring under no musical rule, seems to have more 
freedom, and therefore more for taste, than a song of 
a human being which is procjuced in accordance with 
all the rules of music ; for we very much sooner weary 
of the latter, if it is repeated often and at length. 
Here, however, we probably confyse our participa- 
tion in the mirth of a little creature that we love, 
with the beauty of its song ; for if this were exactly 
imitated by man (as sometimes tlie notes of the 
nightingale are)' it would seem to our ear quite 
devoid of taste. 

Again, beautiful objects are to be distinguished 
from beautiful views of objects (which often on 
account of their distance cannot be more clearly 
cognised). In the latter case taste appears not 
so much in what the Imagination apprc/iends in 
this field, as in the impulse it thus gets to fiction, 
i.e. in the peculiar fancies with which the mind 
entertains itself, whilst it is continually being aroused 
by the variety which strikes the eye. An illustra- 
tion is afforded, e.g., by the sight of the changing 
f a fire on the hearth or of a rlpplinef brook : 


neither of these has beauty, but they bring with 
them a charm for the Imagination, because they 
entertain it in free play. 

[Cf. g 42 '>y™-] 



§ 23. TransUioH from ifie faculty which judges of 
tfte Beautiful to that lohich judges of the Sublime 

The Beautiful .and the Sublime agree in this, 
that both please in themselves. Further, neither 
presupposes a judgment of sense nor a judgment 
logically determined, but a judgment of reflection. 
Consequently the satisfaction [belonging to them] 
does not depend on a sensation, as in the case of 
the Pleasant, nor on a definite concept, as in the 
case of the Good ; but it is nevertheless referred 
to concepts although indeterminate ones. And so/ 
the satisfaction is connected with the mere presenta- 
tion [of the object] or with the faculty of presenta- 
tion ; so that in the case of a given intuition this 
faculty or the Imagination is considered as In agree- 
ment with the faculty of concepts of Understanding, 
or Reason, regarded as promoting these latter. ') 
Hence both kinds of judgments are singular^ and 
yet announce themselves as universally valid for 
every subject ; although they lay claim merely to 
the feeling of pleasure and not to any cognition of 
the object. 

But there are also remarkable differences between 
the two. The Beautiful in nature is connected 




wiili the form of the object, which consists in having 
[definite] boundaries. The Sublime, on the other 
hand, is to be found in a formless object, so far 
as in it or by occasion of it boundlessness is repre- 
sented, and yet its totality is also present to thought. 
Thus the Beautiful seems to be regarded as the 
presentation of an indefinite concept of Understand- 
ing : the Sublime as that of a like concept of Reason. 
Therefore the satisfaction in the one case is bound 
up with the representation of qualily, in the other 
with that of quantity. And the latter satisfaction 
is quite different in kind from the former, for this 
[the Beautiful'] directly brings with it a feeling of 
the furtherance of life, and thus is compatible with 
charms and with the play of the Imagination. But 
the other [the feeling of the Sublime^] is a pleasure 
that arises only indirectly; viz. it is produced by 
the feeling of a momentary checking of the vital 
powers and a consequent stronger outflow of them, 
so that it seems to be regarded as emotion, — not 
play, but earnest in the exercise of the Imagination. 
— Hence it is incompatible with [physical] charm; 
and as the mind is not merely attracted by the object 
but is ever being alternately repelled, the satisfaction 
in the sublime does not so much involve a positive 
pleasure as admiration or respect, which rather 
deserves to be called negative pleasure. 

But the inner and most important distinction 

t>etween the Sublime and Beaulifui is, certainly, 

as follows. (Here, as we are entitled to do, we only 

bring under consideration in the first instance the 

jSubiime in natural Objects; for the sublime of Art 

lis always limited by the conditions of agreement 

With Nature). Natural beamy (which is indc- 

> [Second Edition.] '^ [Second Edition.] 

DIT. I I 3^ 



pendent) brings with it a purposiveness in its 
fonn by which the object seems to be, as it were, 
pre-adapted to our Judgment, and thus constitutes 
in itself an object of satisfaction. On the other 
hand, that .which excites in us, without any reason- 
ing about it, but in the mere apprehension of it, 
the feeHng of the sublime, may appear as regards 
its form to violate purpose in respect of the Judg- 
ment, to be unsuited to our presentatlve faculty, 
and, as it were, to do violence to the Imagination ; 
and yet it is judged to be only the more subUme. 

Now we may see from this that in general we 
express ourselves incorrectly if we call any object 0/ 
nature sublime, aUhough we can quite correctly call 
many objects of nature beautiful. For how can 
that be marked by an expression of approval, which 
is apprehended in itself as being a violation of 
purpose ? All. that we can say is that the object 
is fit for the presentation of a sublimity which can 
be found in the mind ; for no sensible form can 
contain the sublime properly so-called. This con- 
cerns only Ideas of the Reason, which, although no 
adequate presentation is possible for them, by this 
inadequateness that admits of sensible presentation, 
are aroused and summoned into the mind. Thus the 
wide ocean, disturbed by the storm, cannot be called 
sublime. Its aspect is horrible ; and the mind must 
be already filled with manifold Ideas if it is to be 
determined by such an intuition to a feeling itself sub- 
lime, as it is incited to abandon sensibility and to busy 
itself with Ideas that Involve higher purposiveness. 

Independent natural beauty discovers to us a 
Technic of nature, which represents it as a system 
in accordance with laws, the principle of which we 
do not find in the whole of our faculty of Under- 




standing. That principle is the principle of pur- 
posiveness, in respect of the use of our Judgment 
in regard to phenomena ; [which requires] that 
these must not be judged as merely belonging 
to nature in its purposeless mechanism, but also 
as belonging to something analogous to art. It, 
therefore, actually extends, not indeed our cognition 
of natural Objects, but our concept of nature ; [which 
is now not regarded] as mere mechanism but as 
art. This leads to profound investigations as to 
the possibility of such a form. But in what we 
are accustomed to call sublime there is nothing 
at all that leads to particular objective principles 
and forms of nature corresponding to them ; so far 
from it that for the most part nature excites the Ideas 
of the sublime in its chaos or in its wildest and most 
irregular disorder and desolation, provided size and 
might are perceived. Hence, we see that the 
concept of the Sublime is not nearly so important 
or rich in consequences as the concept of the 
Beautiful ; and that in general it displays nothing 
purposive in nature itself, but only in that possible 
use of our intuitions of it by which there is prodviced 
in us a feeling of a purposiveness quite independent 
of nature. We must seek a ground external to 
ourselves for the Beautiful of nature ; but seek it 
for the Sublime merely in ourselves and in our 
attitude of thought which introduces sublimity into 
the representation of nature. This is a very need- 
ful preliminary remark, which quite separates the 
Ideas of the sublime from that of a purposiveness 
of nature^ and makes the theorj' of the sublime 
a mere appendix to the ^esthetical judging of that 
purposiveness ; because by means of h no particular 
form is represented in nature, but ' there is only 

DIV. I i 34 



developed a purposive use which the Imagination 
makes of its representation. 

§ 24. Of the divisions of an investigaiion into the 
feeling of i/te sublime 

As regards the division of the moments of the 
cesthetica] judging of objects in reference to the 
feeling of the sublime, the Analytic can proceed 
according to the same principle as was adapted in 
the analysis of judgments of taste. For as an act 
of the aestheticai reflective Judgment, the satisfaction 
in the Sublime must be represented just as in the 
case of the Heautiful, — according to quantity as 
universally valid, according to qttaiity as devoid 
of interest, according to relation as subjective 
purposivcness, and according to modality as neces- 
sary. And so the method here will not diverge 
from that of the ^preceding section ; unless, indeed, 
we count it a difference that in the case where the 
sesthetical judgment is concerned with the form of 
the object we began with the investigation of its 
quality, but here, in view of the formlessness which 
may belong to what we call sublime, we will begin 
with quantity, as the first moment of the atsthctical 
judgment as to the sublime. The reason for this 
may be seen from the preceding paragraph. 

But the analysis of the Sublime involves a 
division not needed in the case of the Beautiful, 
viz., a division into the niatlicmatically and the 
dytiamically sublime. 

For the feeling of the Sublime brings with it as 
its characteristic feature a movement of the mind 
bound up with the judging of the object, while in 
the case of the Beautiful taste presupposes and 



maintains the mind in restful contemplation. Now 
this movement ought to be judged as subjectively 
purposive (because the sublime pleases us), and 
thus it is referred through the Imagination either to 
the faculty of cognition or of desire. In either 
reference the purposiveness of the given representa- 
tion ought to be judged only in respect of this 
faculty (without purpose or Interest) ; but in the 
first case it is ascribed to the Object as a mathe- 
matical determination of the Imagination, in the 
second as dynamical. And hence we have this 
twofold way of representing the sublime. 

A. — Of the Mathematically Sublime. 

§ 25. Explanalion of t lie term, "sublime" 

We call that sublime which is absolutely great. 
But to be great, and to be a great something are 
quite different concepts {magnitudo and f/iiantitas). 
In like manner to say simply {simplicilcr) that 
anything is great is quite different from saying that 
it is absolutely great {absolute^ non comparative 
magnum). The latter is what is great beyond 
all comparison. — What now is meant by the 
expression that anything is great or small or of 
medium size ? It is not a pure concept of Under- 
standing that is thus signified ; still less is it an 
intuition of Sense, and just as little is it a concept of 
Reason, because it brings with it no principle of 
cognition. It must therefore be a concept of 
Judgment or derived from one ; and a subjective 
purposiveness of the representation in reference to 
the Judgment must lie at its basis. That anything 

biv. I f 25 



is a magnitude (iptatttum) may be cognised from the 
thing itself, without any comparison of it with other 
things ; viz., if there is a multiplicity of the 
homogeneous constituting one thing. But to 
C(^nise how great it is always requires some other 
magnitude as a measure. But because the judging 
of magnitude depends not merely on multiplicity 
(number), but also on the magnitude of the unit (the 
measure), and since, to judge of the magnitude of 
this latter again requires another as measure with 
which it may be compared, we see that the 
determination of the magnitude of phenomena can 
supply no absolute concept whatever of magnitude; 
but only a comparative one. 

If now 1 say simply that anything is great, it 
appears that 1 have no comparison in view, at 
none with an objective measure; because it is thus 
not determined at all how great the object is. But 
although the standard of comparison is merely 
subjective, yet the judgment none the less claims 
universal assent; "this man is beautiful." and "he 
is tall, " are judgments not limited merely to the 
judging subject, but, like theoretical judgments, 
demanding the assent of every one. 

In a judgment by which anything is designated 
simply as great, it is not merely meant that the 
object has a magnitude, but that this magnitude is 
superior to that of many other objects of the same 
kind, without, however, any exact determination of 
this superiority. Thus there is always at the basis 
of our judgment a standard which we assume as the 
same for every one ; this, however, is not available 
for any logical (mathematically definite) judging of 
magnitude, but only for a-sthetical judging of the 
same, because it is a merely subjective standard 




lying at the basis of the reflective judgment upon 
magnitude. It may be empirical, as, eg., the 
average size of the men known to us, of animals of 
a certain kind, trees, houses, mountains, etc. Or it 
may be a standard given a priori^ which through the 
defects of the judging subject is limited by the 
subjective conditions of presentation in cotureto; as, 
e.g,t in the practical sphere, the greatness of a 
certain virtue, or of the public liberty and justice in 
a country ; or, in the theoretical sphere, the 
greatness of the accuracy or the inaccuracy of an 
observation or measurement that has been 
•made, etc. 

Here it is remarkable that, although we have no 
interest whatever in an Object, — i.e. its existence is 
indifferent to us, — yet its mere size, even if it is 
considered as formless, may bring a satisfaction with 
it that is universally communicable, and that con- 
sequently involves the consciousness of a subjective 
purposiveness in the use of our cognitive faculty. 
This is not indeed a satisfaction in the Object 
(because it may be formless), as in the case of the 
Beautiful, in which the reflective Judgment finds 
itself purposively determined in reference to 
cognition in general ; but [a satisfaction] in the 
extension of the Imagination by itself. 

If (under the above limitation) we say simply of 
an object "it is great," this is no mathematically 
definite judgment but a mere judgment of reflection 
upon the representation of it, which is subjectively 
purposive for a certain use of our cognitive powers 
in the estimation of magnitude ; and we always then 
bind up with the rcprcsenliition a kind of respect, as 
also a kind of contempt for what we simply call 
"small." Further, the judging of things as great or 



small extends to everything, even to all their char- 
acteristics ; thus we describe beauty as great or 
small, The reason of this is to be sought in the 
fact that whatever we present in intuition according 
10 the precept of the Judgment (and thus represent 
aesthetically) is always a phenomenon and thus a 

But if we call anything not only great, but abso- 
lutely great in every point of view (great beyond all 
comparison), ix. sublime, we soon see that it is not 
permissible to seek for an adequate standard of this 
outside itself, but merely in itself. It is a magni- 
tude which is like itself alone. It follows hence 
that the sublime is not to be sought in the things of 
nature, but only in our Ideas; but in which of them 
it lies must be reserved for the Deduction. 

The foregoing explanation can be thus expressed : 
the subiijuc is that in comparison with which cvcry- 
\thing else is smaii. Here we easily see that nothing 
can be given in nature, however great it Is judged 
by us to be, which could not if considered in another 
relation be reduced to the infinitely small; and con- 
versely there is nothing so small, which does not 
admit of extension by our Imagination to the great- 
ness of a world, if compared with still smaller 
standards. Telescopes have furnished us with 
abundant material for making the first remark, 
microscopes for the second. Nothing, therefore, 
which can be an object of the senses, is, considered 
on this basis, to be called sublime. But because there 
is in our Imagination a striving towards infinite 
progress, and in our Reason a claim for absolute 
totality, regarded as a real Idea, therefore this \^rf 
inadequateness for that Idea in our faculty for 
estimating the magnitude of things of sense, excites 




in us the feeling of a supersensible faculty. And 
it is not the object of sense, but the use which the 
Judgment naturally makes of certain objects on 
behalf of this latter feeh'ng, that is absolutely great ; 
and in comparison every other use is small. Conse- 
quently it is the state of mind produced by a certain 
representation with which the reflective Judgment 
is occupied, and not the Object, that is to be called 

We can therefore append to the preceding 

(formulas explaining the sublime this other: the sub- 
lime is that, the ntere ability to think which, shows a 

faculty of the mind surpassing every standard of Sense. 

\ 26. Of that estimation of the magnitude of natural 
things which is requisite for the Idea of tlie Sublime 

The estimation of magnitude by means of con- 
cepts of number (or their signs in Algebra) is mathe- 
matical ; but that [performed] by mere intuition (by 
the measurement of the eye) is ^sthetical. Now we 
can come by definite concepts oi how great a thing is, 
[only] ' by numbers, of which the unit is the measure 
(at all events by series of numbers progressing to 
infinity) ; and so far all logical estimation of magni- 
tude is mathematical. Hut since the magnitude of •* 
the measure must then be assumed known, and this 
again is only to be estimated mathematically by 
means of numbers, — the unit of which must be an- 
other [smaller] mCfisure, — we can never have a first 
or fundamental measure, and therefore can never 
have a definite concept of a given magnitude. So 
the estimation of the magnitude of the fundamental 
measure must consist in this, that we c$n immedi- 
1 [Second Edition.] 



ately apprehend it in intuition and use it by the 
Imagination for the presentation of concepts of 
number. That is, all estimation of the magnitude 
of the objects of nature is in the end cesthetical {^i.e. 
subjectively and not objectively determined). 

Now for the matliematical estimation of magni- 
tude there is, indeed, no ma,ximum (for the power of 
numbers extends to infinity) ; but for its xsthetical 
estimation there is always a maximum, and of 
this I say that if it is judged as the absolute measure 
than which no greater is possible subjectively (for 
the judging subject), it brings with it the Idea of the 
sublime and produces that emotion which no mathe- 
matical estimation of its magnitude by means of 
numliers can bring about (except so far as that 
sesthetical fundamental measure remains vividly in 
the Imagination). For the former only presents 
relative magnitude by means of comparison with 
others of the same kind ; but the latter presents 
magnitude absolutely, so far as the mind can grasp 
it in an intuition. 

In receiving a quantum into the Imagination by 
intuition, in order to be able to use it for a measure 
or as a unit for the estimation of magnitude by means 
of numbers, there are two operations of the Imagina- 
tion involved : apprcfiension (apprt'hcnsio) and com- 
prchenswn (compre/wKsio (esikeiica). As to appre- 
hension there is no difficulty, for it can go on ad 
infinitum ; but comprehension becomes harder the 
further apprehension advances, and soon attains to 
its maximum, viz., the greatest possible a;sthetical 
fundamental measure for the estimation of magni- 
tude. For when apprehension has gone so far that 
the partial representations of sensuous intuition 
at first apprehended begin to vanish in the Imagina- 




tion, whilst this ever proceeds to the apprehension 
of others, then it loses as much on the one side as it 
gains on the other ; and in comprehension there is a 
maximum beyond which it cannot go. 

Hence can be explained what Savary^ remarks in 
his account of Egypt, viz., that we must keep from 
going very near the Pyramids just as much as we 
keep from going too far from them, in' order to get 
the full emotional effect from their size. For if we 
are too far away, the parts to be apprehended 
(the stones lying one over the other) are only 
obscurely represented, and the representation of 
them produces no effect upon the ssthetical judgment 
of the subject. But if we are very near, the eye 
requires some time to complete the apprehension of 
the tiers from the bottom up to the apex ; and then 
the first tiers are always partly forgotten before the 
Imagination has taken in the last, and so the com- 
prehension of them is never complete. — The same 
thing may sufficiently explain the bewilderment or, 
as it were, perplexity which, it is said, seizes the 
spectator on his first entrance into St. Peter's at 
Rome. For there is here a feeling of the inadequacy 
of his Imagination for presenting the Ideas of a 
whole, wherein the Imagination reaches Its maxi- 
mum, and, in striving to surpass it, sinks back into 
itself, by which, however, a kind of emotional satis- 
faction is produced. 

I do not wish to speak as yet of the ground of 
this satisfaction, which is bound up with a representa- 
tion from which we should least of all expect it, 
viz., a representation which makes us remark its 
inadequacy cmd consequently its subjective want of 
purposiveness for the Judgment in the estimation of 

> \Lettn5 sur t Egyptty par M. Savary, Amsierdam, 1787.] 


I)1V. I I 26 



magnitude. I only remark that if the sesthetical judg- 
ment Impure (i.e. miugkdwilh no teieological judgment 
or judgment of Reason) and is to be given as a com- 
pletely suitable example of the Kritik of the (rsthctical 
Judgment, wc must not exhibit the sublime in pro- 
ducts of art (c\g., buildings, pillars, etc.) where human 
purpose determines the form as well as the size; 
nor yet in things of nature the concepts of which 
bring with them a definite purpose {eg., animals with 
a known natural destination) ; but in rude nature 
(and in this only in so far as it does not bring with 
it any-charm or emotion produced by actual danger) 
merely as containing magnitude. For in this kind 
of representation nature contains nothing monstrous 
(either magnificent or horrible) ; the magnitude 
that is apprehended may be increased as much as 
you wish provided it can be comprehended in a 
whole by the Imagination. An object is monstrous 
if by its size it destroys the purpose which constitutes 
the concept of it. But the mere presentation of a 
concept is called cotossal, which is almost too great 
for any presentation (bordering on the relatively 
monstrous) : because the purpose of the presentation 
of a concept is made hard [to carry out] by the in- 
tuition of the object being almost too great for our 
faculty of apprehension. — A pure judgment upon 
the sublime must, however, have no purpose of the 
Object as its determining ground, if it is to be 
aesthelical and not mixed up with any judgment of 
Understanding or Reason. 

Because everything which is to give disin- 
terested pleasure to the merely reflective Judgment 
must bring with the representation of it, subjective 





and, as subjective, universally valid puriroslveness — 
although no purposiveness of they^rw of the object 
lies (as in the case of the Beautiful) at the ground of 
the judgment — the question arises "what is this 
subjective purposiveness ? " And how does it come 
to be prescribed as the norm by which a ground for 
universally valid satisfaction is supplied in the mere 
estimation of majijnitudc, even in that which is 
forced up to the point where our facultj' of Imagina- 
tion is inadequate for the presentation of the concept 
of magnitude ? 

In the process of combination requisite for the 
estimation of magnitude, the Imagination proceeds 
of itself to infinity without anything hindering it; 
but the Understanding guides it by means of concepts 
of number, for which it must furnish the schema. 
And in this procedure, as belonging to the logical 
estimation of magnitude, there is indeed something 
objectively purposive, — in accordance with the con- 
cept of a puq)ose(as all measurement is), — but nothing 
•purposive and pleasing for the arsthetical Judgment. 
There is also in this designed purposiveness nothing 
which would force us to push the magnitude of the 
measure, and consequently the comprehension of the 
manifold in an intuition, to the bounds of the faculty 
of Imagination, or as far as ever this can reach in its 
presentations. For in the estimation of magnitude 
by the Understanding (Arithmetic) we only go to a 
certain point whether we push the comprehension 
of the units up to the number lo (as in the decimal 
scale) or only up to 4 (as in the quaternary scale) ; 
the further production of magnitude proceeds by 
combination or, if the quantum is given in intuition, 
by apprehension, but merely by way of progression 
(not of comprehension) in accordance with an as- 

DIV. I I 36 



sumed principle of progression. In this nwthemati- 
cal estimation of magnitutle the Understanding is 
equally served and contented whether the I magination 
chooses for unit a magnitude that we can take in 
in a glance, e.^., a foot or rod, or a German mile or 
even the earth's diameter. — of which the apprehen- 
sion is indeed possible, but not the comprehension in 
an intuition of the Imagination (not possible by covt- 
prehensio a-sthctica, although quite possible by 
comfirc/wrisio h^ica in a concept of number). In 
both cases the logical estimation of magnitude goes 
on without hindrance to infinity. 

But now the mind listens to the voice of Reason 
which, for every given magnitude, — even for those 
that can never be entirely apprehended, although (in 
sensible representation) they are judged as entirely 
given, — requires totality. Reason consequently 
desires comprehension in one intuition, and so the 
[joint] presentation of all these members of a pro- 
gressively increasing series. It does not even exempt 
the infinite (space and past time) from this require-' 
ment ; it rather renders it unavoidable to think the 
infinite (in the judgment of common Reason) as 
entirely given (according to its totality). 

But the infinite is absolutely (not merely com- 
paratively) great. Compared with it everything 
else (of the same kind of magnitudes) is small. And 
what is most important is that to be able only to 
think it as a whole indicates a faculty of mind which 
surpasses every standaal of Sense. For [to repre- 
sent it sensibly] would require a comprehension 
having for unit a standard bearing a definite relation, 
expressible in numbers, to the infinite ; which is 
impossible. Ne\ertheless, the bare capability of 
thinking \}\x\s infinite without contradiction requires in 




the human mind a faculty itself supersensible. For 
it is only by means of this faculty and its Idea of a 
iioumenon, — which admits of no intuition, but 
which yet serves as the substrate for the intuition 
of the world, as a mere phenomenon, — that the 
infinite of the world of sense, in the pure intellectual 
estimation of magnitude, can be completely compre- 
hended under one concept, although in the mathe- 
matical estimation of magnitude by means oi concepts 
of number it can never be completely thought. The 
faculty of being able to think the infinite of super- 
sensible intuition as given (in its intelligible sub- 
strate), surpasses every standard of sensibility, and 
is great beyond all comparison even with the 
faculty of mathematical estimation ; not of course in 
a theoretical point of view and on behalf of the 
cognitive faculty, but as an extension of the mind 
which feels itself able in another (practical) point of 
view to go beyond the limits of sensibility. 

Nature is therefore sublime in those of its 
phenomena, whose intuition brings with it the Idea 
of its infinity. This last can only come by the in- 
adequacy of the greatest effort of our Imagination to 
estimate the magnitude of an object. But now in 
mathematical estimation of magnitude the Imagina- 
tion is equal to providing a sufficient measuru for 
every object ; because the numerical concepts of the 
Understanding, by means of progression, can make 
any measure adequate to any given magnitude. 
Therefore it must be the cssthciical estinaation of 
magnitude in which the effort towards comprehen- 
sion surpasses the power of the Imagination. Here 
it is felt that we can comprehend in a whole of 
intuition the progressive apprehension, and at the 
same time we perceive the inadequacy of this faculty, 

DIV, I t *6 



unbounded in its progress, for grasping and using 
any fundamental measure available for the estimation 
of magnitude with the easiest application of the 
Understanding. Now the proper unchangeable 
fundamental measure of nature is its absolute whole ; 
which, regarding nature as a phenomenon, would be 
infinity comprehended. But since this fundamental 
measure is a self-contradictory concept (on. account 
of the impossibility of the absolute totality of an 
endless progress), that magnitude of a natural 
Object, on which the Imagination fruitlessly spends 
its whole faculty of comprehension, must carry our 
concept of nature to a supersensible substrate 
(which lies at its basis and also at the basis of our 
faculty of thought). As this, however, is great 
beyond all standards of sense, it makes us judge as 
sttd/imc. not so much the object, as our own state of 
mind in the estimation of it. 

Therefore, just as the astbetical judgment in 
judging the Beautiful refers the Imagination in its 
free play to the Understanding, in order to harmonise 
it with the concepts of tlie latter in general (without 
any determination of them) ; so does the same 
faculty when judging a thing as Sublime refer itself 
to the Reason in order that it may subjectively be 
in accordance with its Ideas (no matter what they 
are) : — i.e. that it may produce a state of mind 
conformable to them and compatible with that 
brought about by the influence of definite (practical) 
Ideas upon feeling. 

We hence see also that true sublimity must be 
sought only in the mind of the [subject] judging, 
not in the natural Object, the judgment upon which 
occasions this state. Who would call sublime, e.^., 
shapeless mountain masses piled in wild disorder 




upon each other with their pyramids of ice, or the 
gloomy r^ing sea ? But the mind feels itself raised 
in its own judgment if, while contemplating them 
without any reference to their form, and abandoning 
itself to the Imiigination and to the Reason — ^which 
although placed in combination with the Imagination 
without any definite purpose, merely extends it — it 
yet finds the whole power of the Imagination in- 
adequate to its Ideas. 

Examples of the mathematically Sublime of 
nature in mere intuition are all the cases in 
which we are given, not so much a larger numerical 
concept as a large unit for the measure of the 
Imagination (for shortening the numerical series). 
A tree, [the height of] which we estimate with 
reference to the height of a man, at all events gives 
a standard for a mountain ; and if this were a mile 
high, it would serve as unit for the number ex- 
pressive of the earth's diameter, so that the latter 
might be made intuitible. The earth's diameter 
[would supply a unit] for the known planetary 
system ; this again for the milky way ; and the 
immeasurable number of milk^* way systems called 
nebulae, — which presumably constitute a system of 
the same kind among themselves — lets us expect 
no bounds here. Now the Sublime in the arslhetical 
judging of an immeasurable whole like this lies 
not so much in the greatness of the number [of 
units], as in the fact that in our progress we ever 
arrive at yet greater units. To this the systematic 
division of the universe contributes, which represents 
every magnitude in nature as small in its turn ; and 
represents our Imagination with its entire freedom 
from bounds, and with it Nature, as a mere nothing 
in comparison with the Ideas df Reason, if it is 

on*. 1 1 27 



sought to furntsH a presentacion which shall be 
adequate to them. 

§ 27. Of the qualiiy of the satisfaction in our 
judgments upon t/te Suhtime 

The feeling of our incapacity to attain to an 
Idea, wiiich is a taw for us, is respect. Now the 
Idea of the comprehension of every phenomenon 
that can be given us in the intuition of a whole, is 
an Idea prescribed to us by a law of Reason, which 
recognises no other measure, defmite. valid for 
every one, and invariable, thati the absolute whole. 
But our Imaj^ination, even in Its greatest efforts, in 
respect of that comprehension, which wc expect 
from it, of a given object in a whole of Intuition 
(and thus with reference to the presentation of the 
Idea of Reason), exhibits its own limits and in- 
adequacy ; although at the same time it shows that 
its destination is to make itself adequate to this 
Idea regarded as a law. Therefore the feeling of the 
Sublime in nature is respect for our own destina- 
tion, which by a certain subreption we attribute to 
an Object of nature (conversion of respect for the 
Idea of humanity in our own subject into respect 
for the object). This makes intuitively evident the 
superiority of the rational determination of our 
cognitive faculties to the greatest faculty of our 

The feeling of the Sublime is therefore a feeling 
of pain, arising from the want of accordance be- 
tween the a:sthetical estimation of magnitude formed 
by the Imagination and the estimation of the same 
formed by Reason. There is at the same time a 
pleasure thus excited, arising from the corre- 




spondence with rational Ideas of this very judgment 
of the inadequacy of our greatest faculty of Sense ; 
in so far as it is a law for us to strive after these 
Ideas. In fact it is for us a law (of Reason), and 
belongs to our destination, to estimate as small, in 
comparison with Ideas of Reason, everything which 
nature, regarded as an object of Sense, contains 
that is great for us ; and that which arouses in us 
the feeling of this supersensible destination agrees 
with that law. Now the greatest effort of the 
Imagination in the presentation of the unit for the 
estimation of magnitude indicates a reference to 
something absoluteiy great ; and consequently a 
reference to the law of Reason, wliich bids us take 
this alone as our highest measure of magnitude. 
Therefore the inner perception of the inadequacy 
of all sensible standards for rational estimation of 
magnitude indicates a correspondence with rational 
laws; it involves a pain, which arouses in us the 
feeling of our supersensible destination, according 
to which it is purposive and therefore pleasurable 
to find every standard of Sensibility inadequate to 
the Ideas of Understanding. 

The mind feels itself moved in the representa- 
tion of the Sublime in nature ; whilst in aesthetical 
judgments about the Beautiful it is in i-cstful 
contemplation. This movement may (especially in 
its beginnings) be compared to a vibration, i.e. to a 
quickly alternating attraction towards, and repulsion 
from, the same Object. Ihe transcendent (cowards 
which the Imagination is impelled in its apprehension 
of intuition) is for the Imagination hke an abyss in 
which it fears to lose itself; but for the rational 
Idea of the supersensible it is not transcendent but 
in conformity with law to bring about such an 

PlV. I I 27 



effort of the Imagination, and consequently here 
there is the same amount of attraction as there 
was of repulsion for the mere Sensibility. But 
the judgment Itself alwaysremains in this case only 
aisthetical, because, without having any determinate 
concept of the Object at its basis ; it merely 
represents the subjective play of the mental powers 
(Imagination and Reason) as harmonious through 
their very contrast. For just as Imagination and 
Understanding^ in judging of the Beautiful, generate 
a subjective purposiveness of the mental powers 
by means of their harmony, so [in this case'] 
Imagination and Reasofi do so by means of their 
conrtict. That is, they bring about a feeling that 
we possess pure sclf-subsisient Reason, or a faculty 
for the estimation of magnitude, whose superiority 
can be made intuitively evident only by the inade- 
quacy of that faculty [Imagination] which is itself 
unbounded in the presentation of magnitudes (of 
sensible objects). 

The measurement of a space (regarded as 
apprehension) is at the same time a description of it, 
and thus an objective movement in the act of Imagina- 
tion and a progress. "On the other hand, the compre- 
hension of the manifold in the unity, — not of thought 
but of intuition. — -and consequently the comprehen- 
sion of the successively apprehended [elements] in one 
lance, is a regress, which annihilates the condition of 
time in this progress of the Imagination and makes 
cocxisivncc intuitible.^ It is therefore (since the 
time-series is a condition of the internal sense and 

' [Second Editinn.] 

' [With this should be compared the simitar discussion in the 
Krtiik of Pure Kfason, Dialectic, bk- li. c ii. g I, Ok the System of 
Cesmological Idea$.^ 


A'AJ\nrs KRlTi/y OP /UDGMES^T 


of an intuition) a subjective movement of the 
Imagination, by which it does violence to the 
internal sense ; this must be the more noticeable, 
the greater the quantum is which the Imagination 
comprehends in one intuition. The effort, there- 
fore, to receive in one single intuition a measure for 
magnitude that requires a considerable time to 
apprehend, is a kind of representation, which, sub- 
jectively considered, is contrary to pur]x>se : but ob- 
jectively, as requisite for the estimation of magnitude, 
it is purposive. Thus that very violence which is 
done to the subject through the Imagination is judged 
as purposive in reference to the xvhoie ditennination 
of the mind. 

The quality of the feeling of the Sublime is that 
it is a feeling of pain in reference to the faculty by 
which we judge xsthetically of an object, which pain, 
however, is represented at the same time as purposive. 
This is possible through the fact that the very in- 
capacity in question discovers the consciousness of 
an unlimited faculty of the same subject, and that 
the mind can only judge of the latter aesthetically 
by means of the former. 

In the logical estimation of magnitude the 
impossibility of ever arriving at absolute totality, 
by means of the jjrogress of the measurement of 
things of the sensible world in time and space, was 
cognised as objective, i.e. as an impossibility of 
thinking the infinite as entirely given ; and not as 
merely subjective or that there was only an in- 
capacity to grasp it. For there we have not to 
do with the degree of comprehension in an intuition, 
regarded as a measure, but everything depends on a 
concept of number. But in a:sthetical estimation of 
magnitude the concept of number must disappear or 

^IV. I I 3S 



bechanged,and the comprehension of the Imagination 
in reference to the unit of measure (thus avoiding the 
concepts of a law of the successive production of 
concepts of magnitude) is alone purposive for it. — 
If now a magnitude almost reaches the limit of bur 
faculty of comprehension in an intuition, and yet 
the Imagination Is invited by means of numerical 
magnitudes (in respect of which we are conscious 
that our faculty is unbounded) to a-sthetical compre- 
hension in a greater unit, then we mentally feel our- 
selves confined arstheticatly within bounds. But 
nevertheless the pain in regard to the necessary 
extension of the Imagination for accordance with 
that which is unbounded in our faculty of Reason, 
viz. the Idea of the absolute whole, and consequently 
the very unpurposiveness of the faculty of Ima- 
gination for rational Ideas and the arousing of them, 
are represented as purposive. Thus it is that the 
a^stheiical judgment itself is subjectively purposive for 
the Reason as the source of Ideas, i.e. as the source 
of an intellectual comprehension for which all a;sthe- 
tical comprehension is small ; and there accompanies 
the reception of an object as sublime a pleasure, 
which is only possible through the medium of a pain. 

B. — Of the Dynamically in Nature 

§28. Of Nature regarded as Might 

Might is that which is superior to great 
hindrances. It is called dominion if it is superior 
to the resistance of that which itself possesses might. 
Nature considered in an cesthetical judgment as 
might that has no dominion over us, is dynamically 



I'ART 1 

If nature is to be judged by us as dynamically 
sublime, it must be represented as exciting fear 
(although it is not true conversely that ever)* object 
which excites fear Is regarded in our a'sthelical judg- 
ment as sublime). For in ^esthetical judgments (with- 
out the aid of concepts) superiority to hindrances 
can only be judged according to the greatness of the 
resistance. Now that which we are driven to resist 
is an evil, and, if we do not find our faculties a match 
for it, is an object of fear. Hence nature can be 
regarded by the icslhetical Judgment as might, and 
consequently as dynamically sublime, only so far as 
it is considered an object of fear. 

But we can regard an object as fear/ul. without 
being afraid of it ; viz. if we judge of it in such a 
way that wc merely think a case in which we would 
wish to resist it, and yet in which all resistance would 
be altogether vain. Thus the virtuous man fears 
God without being afraid of Him ; because to wish 
to resist Him and His commandments, he thinks is 
a case that he need not apprehend. But in every 
such case that he thinks as not impossible, he 
cognises Him as fearful. 

He who feai? can form no judgment about the 
Sublime in nature ; just as he who is seduced by 
inclination and appetite can form no judj:jment about 
the Beautiful. The former flies from the sight of 
an object which inspires him with awe ; and it is im- 
possible to find satisfaction in a terror that is seriously 
felt. Hence the pleasurableness arising from the 
cessation of an une;isiness \%a state of joy. But this, 
on account of the deliverance from danger [which is 
involved], Is a state of joy \vhen conjoined with the 
resolve that we shall no more be exposed to the 
danger ; we cannot willingly look back upon our 

piv, I # aS 



sensations [of danger], much less seek the occasion 
for them again. 

Bold, overhanging, and as it were threatening, 
rocks ; clouds piled up in the sky, moving with light- 
ning Hashes and thunder peals ; volcanoes in all their 
violence of destruction ; hurricanes with their track of 
devastation ; the boundless ocean in a state of tumult ; 
the lofty waterfall of a mighty river, and such like ; 
these exhibit our faculty of resistance as insignificantly 
small in comparison with their might. But the sight 
of them is the more attractive, the more fearful it is, 
jyiQVJded^xmly^hat _ȣe_jire_ia--sficuriiy ; and we 
willingly call these objects sublime, because they 
raise the energies of the soul above their accustomed 
height, and discover in us a faculty of resistance of j 
a quite different kind, which gives us courage to/ 
measure ourselves against the apparent almightines/ 
of nature. 

Now, in the immensity of nature, and in the 
insufficiency of our faculties to take in a standard 
proportionate to the a;sthetical estimation of the 
magnitude of its realm, we find our own limitation ; 
although at the same time in our rational faculty we 
find a different, non-sensuous standard, which has 
that infinity itself under it as a unity, in comparison 
with which everything in nature is small, and thus 
in our mind we find a superiority to nature even in 
its immensity. And so also the irresistibility of its 
might, while making us recognise our own [physi- 
cal ^] impotence, considered as beings of nature, 
discloses to us a faculty of judging independently of, 
and a superiority over, nature ; on which is based a 
kind of self-preservation, entirely different from that 
which can be attacked and brought into danger by 
J [Second Edition.] 




external nature. Thus, humanity in our person 
remains unhumiliated, though the individual might 
have to submit to this dominion. !n this way nature 
is not judged to be sublime in our ceslhetical judg- 
ments, in so Tar as it excites fear ; but because it calls 
up that power in us (wliich is not nature) of regarding 
as small the things about which we are solicitous 
(goods, health, and lift^), and of regarding its might 
(to which we are no doubt subjected in respect of 
these things), as nevertheless without any dominion 
over us and our personality to which we must bow 
where our highest fundamental propositions, and 
their assertion or abandonment, are concerned. 
Therefore nature is here called sublime merely 
because it elevates the Imagination to a presentation 
of those cases in which the mind can make felt the 
proper sublimity of its destination, in comparison 
with nature itself. 

This estimation of ourselves loses nothing 
through the fact that we must regard ourselves as 
safe in order to feel this inspiriting satisfaction ; 
and that hence, as there is no seriousness in the 
danger, there might be also (as might seem to be 
the case) just as little seriousness in the sublimity of 
our spiritual faculty. For the satisfaction here- 
concerns only the destination of our faculty wliich 
discloses itself in such a case, so far as the tendency 
to this destination lies in our nature, whilst its 
development and exercise remain incumbent and 
obligatory. And in this there is truth [and reality], 
however conscious the man may be of his present 
actual powerless n ess, when he turns his reflection 
to it. 

No doubt this principle seems to be too far- 
fetched and too subtly reasoned, and consequently 

DIV. I I 2$ 



seems to go beyond [the scope of) an a:sthctical 
judgment ; but observation of men proves the 
opposite, and shows that it may lie at the root of the 
most ordinary judgments, although we are n«t 
always conscious of it. For what is that which is, 
even to tiie savage, an object of the greatest 
admiration ? It is a man who shrinks from nothing, 
who fears nothing, and therefore docs not yield to 
danger, but rather goes to face it vigorously with 
tile most complete deliberation. Even in the most 
highly civilised state this peculiar veneration for the 
soldier remains, though only under the condition 
that he exhibit all the virtues of peace, gentleness, 
compassion, and even a becoming care for his own 
person ; because even by these it is recognised 
that his mind is unsubdued by danger. Hence 
whatever disputes there may be about the 
superiority of the respect which is to be accorded 
them, in the comparison of a statesman and a 
general, the sesthetical judgment decides for the 
latter. War itself, if it is carried on with order and 
with a sacred respect for the rights of citizens, has 
something sublime in it, and makes the disposition 
of the people who carry it on thus, only the more 
sublime, the more numerous are the dangers to 
w^hich they arc exposed, and in respect of which 
they behave with courage. On the other hand, a 
long peace generally brings about a predominant 
commercial spirit, and along with it, low selfishness, 
cowardice, and effeminacy, and debases the disposi- 
tion of the people.' 

It appears to conflict with this solution of the 
concept of the sublime, so far as sublimity is 
ascribed to might, that we are accustomed to 
» [Cf.§ 83, //»//-*] 





represent God as presenting Himself in His wrath 
and yet in His sublimity, in the tempest, the storm, 
the earthquake, etc. ; and that it would be foolish f 
and criminal to imagine a superiority of our minds 
over these works of His, and, as it seems, even 
over the designs of such might. Hence it would 
appear that no feeling of the sublimity of our own 
nature, but rather subjection, abasement, aiid a 
feeling of complete powerlessness, is a fitting state 
of mind in the presence of such an object, and 
this is generally bound up with the Idea of it 
during natural phenomena of this kind. In religion 
in general, prostration, adoration with bent head, 
with contrite, an.\ious demeanour and voice, seems 
to be the only fitting behaviour in presence of 
the Godhead ; and hence most peoples have 
adopted and still observe it. But this state of 
mind is far from being necessarily bound up 
with the Idea of the sublimity of a religion and 
its object. The man who is actually afraid, 
because he finds reasons for fear in himself, whilst 
conscious by his culpable disposition of offending 
against a Might whose will is irresistible and 
at the same time just, is not in the frame of mind 
for admiring the divine greatness. For this a mood 
of calm contemplation and a quite free judgment 
are needed. Only if he is conscious of an upright 
disposition pleasing to God do those operations of 
might ser\'e to awaken In him the Idea of the 
sublimity of this Being, for then he recognises in 
himself a sublimity of disposition conformable to 
His will; and thus he is raised above the fear of 
such operations of nature, which he no longer 
regards as outbursts of His wrath. Even humility, 
in the shape of a stern judgment upon his own 

OIV. I I 2$ 




faults, — which otherwise, with a consciousness of good 
inlentions, could be easily palliated from the frailty 
of human nature, — is a sublime state of mind, 
consisting in a voluntary subjection of himself to the 
pain of remorse, in order that the causes of this 
may be gradually removed. In this way religion is 
essentially distinguished from superstition. The 
latter establishes in the mind, not reverence for the 
Sublime, but fear and apprehension of the all- 
powerful Being to whose will the terrified man sees 
himself subject, without according Him any high 
esteem. From this nothing can arise but a seeking 
of favour, and flattery, instead of a religion which 
consists in a good life.^ 

Sublimity, therefore, does not reside in anything 
of nature, but only in our mind, in so far as we can 
become conscious that we are superior to nature 
within, and therefore also to nature without us (so 
far as it influences us). Everything that excites 
this feeling in us, e.jr., the might of nature which 
calls forth our forces, is called then (although 
improperly) sublime. Only by supposing tliis Idea 
in ourselves, and in reference to it, are we capable of 
attaining to the Idea of the sublimity of that Being, 
which produces respect in us, not merely by the 
might that it displays in nature, but rather by 
means of the faculty which resides in us of judging 
it fearlessly and of regarding our destination as 
sublime in respect of it. 

' [In the Philosophical Theory of Religion, jit. i. xiibjtn. (AbboH's 
Translaiion, p. 360), Kant, as here, dividw "all rdiyions inin two 
classes — faih^ur-sfiking religion (mere worship) .ind mtiral religion, 
ihat is, the religion of a gomi lift ; ' and he concludes ihat "amongsl 
all Uie public religions that have ever existed the Christian alone is 




§ 29. Of the modality of the judgment upon the 
sitblime in nature 

There are numberless beautiful things in nature 
about which we can assume and even expect, with- 
out being widely mistaken, the harmony of every 
one's judgment with our own. Hut in respect of 
our judgment upon the sublime in nature, we cannot 
promise ourselves so easily the accordance of others. 
For a far greater culture, as well of the a^sthetical 
Judgment as of the cognitive faculties which lie 
at its basis, seems requisite in order to be able 
to pass judgment on this peculiarity, of natural 

That the mind be attuned to feel the sublime 
postulates a susceptibility of the mind for Ideas. 
For in the very inadequacy of nature to these 
latter, and thus only by presupposing them and by 
straining the Imagination to use nature as a schema 
for them, is to be found that which is terrible to 
sensibility and yet is attractive. [It is attractive] 
because Reason exerts a dominion over sensibility 
in order to extend it in conformity with its proper 
realm (the practical) and to make it look out 
into the Infinite, which is for it an abyss. In 
fact, without development of moral Ideas, that 
which we, prepared by culture, call sublime, presents 
itself to the uneducated man merely as terrible. 
In the indications of the dominion of nature in 
destruction, and in the great scale of its might, 
in comparison with which his own is a vanishing 
quantity, he will only see the misery, danger, and 
distress which surround the man who is exposed to 
it. So the good, and indeed intelligent, Savoyard 

DIV. I I 39 



peasant (as Herr von Saussure ' relates) unliesi- 
tatingly called all lovers of snow- mountains fools. 
And who knows, whether he would have been so 
completely wrong, if Saussure had undertaken 
the danger to which he exposed himself merely, as 
most travellers do. from amateur curiosity, or that 
he might be able to give a pathetic account of them ? 
But his design was the instruction of men ; and 
this excellent man gave the readers of his Travels, 
soul-stirring sensations such as he himself had. into 
the bargain. 

But although the judgment upon the Sublime 
in nature needs culture (more than the judgment 
upon the Beautiful), it is not therefore primarily 
produced by culture and introduced in a merely 
conventional way into society. Rather has it its root 
in human nature, even in that which, alike with 
common Understanding, we can impute to and 
expect of every one, viz. in the tendency to the 
feeling for (practical) Ideas, i.e. to what is moral. 

Hereon is based the necessity of that agreement 
of the judgment of others about the sublime with 
our own which we include in the latter. For 
just as we charge with want of taste the man who 
is indifferent when passing judgment upon an object 
of nature that we regard as beautiful ; so we say 
of him who remains unmoved in the presence of 
that which we judge to be sublime, he has no feel- 
ing. But we claim both from ever)' man. and we 
presuppose them In him if he has any culture at 
all ; only with the difference, that we expect the 
former directly of every one, because in it the Judg- 
ment refers the Imagination merely to the Under- 

' [I'nvnges ifitns lei Aipfs, par H. B. ric Saussure; vol. i. was 
iblishcd at Neuchatel in 1779; vol. ii. at Gcno'a in 1786.] 




Standing, the faculty of concepts; but the latter, 
because in it the Imagination is related to the 
Reason, the faculty of Ideas, only under a subjective 
presupposition (which, however, we beheve we are 
authorised in imputing to every one), viz. the pre- 
supposition of the moral feeling [in man.'] Thus it 
is that we ascribe necessity to this cesthetical judg- 
ment also. 

In this mo<I;iIity of a:sthetical judgments, viz., in 
the necessity claimed 'for them, lies an important 
moment of the Kritik of Judgment. For it enables 
us to recognise in Inenl an cr priori principle, and 
raises them out of empirical psychology, in which 
otherwise they would remain buried amongst the 
feelings of gratification and grief/only with the 
unmeaning addition of being called yfwt*/' feelings). 
Thus it enables us too to place the j udgment 
among those faculties that have a priori principles 
at their basis, and so to bring It into Transcendental 


In reference to the feeling of pleasure an object 
is to be classified as cither p/easanl, or beautiful^ or 
sublime, or good (absolutely), (Jucimdum, putckntm^ 
sublime^ honestuni). 

The p/tasanl, as motive of desire, is always of 
one and the same kind, no matter whence it comes 
and however specifically different the representa- 
tion (of sense, and sensation objectively considered) 
may be. Hence in judging its inlluence on the 
mind, account is taken only of the number of its 

' [Second Edition.] 

niv. I I 29 





:), and 


charms (simultaneous and successive^, anci so on 
of the mass, as it were, of the pleasant sensation ; 
and this can be made intelligible only l^y quautiiy. 
It has no reference to culture, but belongs to mere 
enjoyment. — On the other hand, the beautiful 
requires the representation of a certain qualUy of 
the Object, that can be made intelligible and 
reduced to concepts (although it is not so reduced 
in an lesthetical judgment) : and it cultivates us, in 
that it teaches us 10 attend to the purposiveness in 
the feeling of pleasure. — The sublime consists 
merely in the relation by which the sensible in the 
representation of nature is judged available for a 
possible supersensible use. — The absolutely good. 
subjectively judged according to the feeling that 
it inspires (the Object of the moral feeling), as 
capable of determining the powers of the subject 
through the representation of an absolutely com- 
pelling law, is specially distinguished by the mod- 
alily of a necessity that rests a priori upon concepts. 
This necessity involves not merely a claim, but 
a command Aox die assent of every one, and belongs 
in itself to the pure intellectual, rather than to 
the aesthetical Judgment ; and is by a deter- 
minant and not a mere rellectivc judgment ascribed 
not to Nature but to Freedom. But the dc- 
termiiiability of the subject by means of this idea, 
and especially of a subject that can feel hindrances 
in sensibility, and at the same its superiority to 
them by their subjugation — involving a modifieation 
of its stale — i.e. the moral feeling, is yet so far 
cognate to the aslhetical Judgment and its formal 
conditions that it can serve to represent the con- 
formity to law of action from duty as aesthetical, i.e. 
as sublime or even as beautiful, without losing 




purity. This would not be so, if we were to put it in 
natural combination witli the feeling of the pleasant. 

If we take the result of the foregoing exposition 
of the two kinds of xsthetical judgments, there 
arise therefrom the following short explanations : 

Xhe— ^'tfff«/^// is what pleases in the mere 
judgment (and therefore not by the medium of 
sensation in accordance with a concept of the Un- 
derstanding). It follows at once from this that it 

m u st plp^S*^ apart fr/^m all JntfT':: i it i 

The Sublime is what pleases immediately through 
its opposition to the interest of sense. 

Both, as explanations of aesthetical universally 
valid judging, are referred to subjective grounds ; 
in the one case to grounds of sensibility, in favour of 
the contemplative Understanding ; in the other case 
ill opposition to sensibility, but on behalf of the pur- 
poses of practical Reason. Both, however, united 
in the same subject, are purposive in reference to 
the moral feeling. The Beautiful prepares us to 
~\\ 1^^^^ disinterestedly something, even nature itself; 
/ / the Sublime prepares us to esteem something highly 
' even in opposition to our own (sensible) interest. 

We may describe the Sublime thus : it is an 
J object (of nature) t/w representation of which deter- 
' mines the mind to think the unattainability of nature 
regarded as a presentation of Ideas. 

Literally taken and logically considered, Ideas 
cannot be presented. But if we extend our em- 
pirical representative faculty (mathematically or 
dynamically) to the intuition of nature, Reason 
infallibly intervenes, as the factdty expressing the 
independence of absolute totality,' and generates the 

1 \AIs Vcrtnagen der Indtpcndtm d^r a&soluJeu Totatitdt^ a 
curious phmsc] 


DIV. I i 29 



unsuccessful effort of the mind to make the repre- 
sentation of the senses adequate to these [Ideas]. 
This effort, — and the feeling of the unattainability of 
the Idea by means of the Imagination, — is itself a 
presentation of the subjective purposiveness of our 
mind in the employment of the Imagination for its 
supersensible destination ; and forces us, subject- 
ively, to think nature itself in its totality as a 
presentation of something supersensible, without 
being able objecHveiy to arrive at this presentation. 

For we soon see that nature in space and time 
entirely lacks the unconditioned, and, consequently, 
that absolute magnitude, which yet is desired by 
the most ordinary Reason. It is by this that we 
are reminded that we only have to do with nature 
as phenomenon,, and that it must be regarded as 
the mere presentation of a nature in itself (of which 
Reason has the Idea). But this Idea of the super- 
sensible, which we can no further determine, — so 
that we cannot ht&w but only think nature as its 
presentation, — is awakened in us by means of an 
object, whose aisthetical appreciation strains the 
Imagination to its utmost bounds, whether of ex- 
tension (mathematical) or of its might over the 
mind (dynamical). And this judgment is based 
upon a feeling of the mind's destination, which 
entirely surpasses the reidm of the former {i.c, upon 1 
the moral feeling), in respect of which the repre- 
sentation of the object is judged as subjectively 

In fact, a feeling for the Sublime in nature 
cannot well be thought without combining therewith 
a mental disposition which is akin to the Moral. 
And although the immediate pleasure in the Beauti- 
ful of nature likewise presupposes and cultivates a 




certain HberaUty in our mental attitude, i.e. a satis- 
faction independent of mere sensiljlc enjoj'nient, yel 
freedom is thus represented as \ryplay rather than 
in that law-directed ocatpaiion which is the genuine 
tliaracteristic of human morality, in which Reason 
must exercise dominion over Sensibility. But in 
aesthetical judgments upon the Sublime this domin- 
ion is represented as exercised by the Tma gj nation^ 
regarded as an instrumt-nt of Reason. 

/ The satisfaction in the Sublime of nature is 
Aen only negative (whilst that in the Beautiful is 
/ po$ilizte)\ viz., a feeling that the Imagination is 
depriving itself of its freedom, while it is purposively 
determined according to a dificrent law from that 
of its empirical employment. It thus acquires an 
extension and a might greater than it sacrifices, — 
the ground of which, however, is concealed from 
itself ; whilst yet it feds the sacrifice or the 
deprivation and, at the same time, the cause to 
which it is subjected. Astonis/im^ni, that borders 
upon terror, the dread and the holy awe which 
seizes the observer at the sight of mountain peaks 
rearing themselves to heaven, deep chasms and 
streams raging therein, deep-shadowed solitudes that 
dispose one to melancholy meditations — this, in the 
safety in which we know ourselves to be, is not 
actual fear, but only an attempt to feel fear by 
the aid of the Imagination; that we may feel the 
might of this faculty in combining with the mind's 
repose the mental movement thereby e.vcited, and 
being thus superior to internal nature, — and therefore 
to external, — so far as this can have any influence 
on our feeling of well-being. For the Imagination 
by the laws of Association makes our state of con- 
tentment dependent on physical [causes] ; but it also, 

DIV. I I 29 



by the principles of the Schematism of the Judgment 
(being so far, therefore, ranked under freedom), is 
the instrument of Reason and its Ideas, and, as such, 
has might to maintain our independence of natural 
influences, to regard as small what in reference to 
ihcm is great, and so to place the absolutely great 
only in the proper destination of the subject. The 
raising of this reflection of the a?sthetical Judgment 
so as to be adequate to Reason (though without a 
definite concept of Reason) represents the object as 
subjectively purposive, even by the objective want 
of accordance between the Imagination in its greatest 
extension and the Reason (as the faculty of Ideas), 

We must here, generally, attend to what has 
been already noted, that in the Transcendental 
Esthetic of judgment we must speak solely of pure 
aesthetical judgments ; consequently our examples are 
not to be taken from such beautiful or sublime 
objects of Nature as presuppose the concept of a 
purpose. For, if so, the purposiveness would be 
either teleological, or woidd be based on mere sen- 
sations of an object (gratification or grief) ; and thus 
would be in the former case not <esthetical, in the 
latter not merely formal. If then we call the sight 
of the starry heaven sublime, we must not place at 
the basis of our judgment concepts of worlds 
inhabited by rational beings, and regard the bright 
points, with which we see the space above us filled, 
as their suns moving in circles purposively fixed 
with reference to them ; but we must regard it, jusj^ 
as we see it, as a distant, all - embracing, vault. 
Only under such a representation can we range that 
sublimity which a pure a:sthetical judgment ascribes 
to this object. .And in the same way, if we are to 
call the sight of the ocean sublime, we must not 




think of it as we [ordinarily] do, as implying all 
kinds of knowledge (that are not contained in im- 
mediate intuition). For example, we sometimes 
think of the ocean as a vast kingdom of aquatic 
creatures; or as the great source of those vapours that 
fill the air with clouds for the benefit of the land ; or 
again as an element which, though dividing con- 
tinents from each other, yet promotes the greatest 
communication between them : but these furnish 
merely teleological judgments. To call the ocean 
sublime we must regard it as poets do, merely by 
what strikes the eye ; if it is at rest, as a clear 
mirror of water only bounded by the heaven ; if 
it is restless, as an abyss threatening to overwhelm 
everything. The like is to be said of the Sublime 
and Beautiful in the human figure. We must not 
regard as the determining grounds of our judgment 
the concepts of the purposes which all our limbs serve, 
and we must not allow this coincidence to influence 
our a;sthetlcal judgment (for thelTTl would no longer 
be pure) ; although it is certainly a necessary con- 
dition of 35sthetical satisfactioji that there should be 
no conflict between them. /Esthetical purposiveness 
is the conformity to law of the Judgment in hs/rec- 
do7tt. The satisfaction in the object depends on the 
relation in which we wish to place the Imagination : 
always provided that it by itself entertains the mind 
in free occupation. If, on the other hand, the judg- 
ment be determined by anything else, — whether 
^nsation or concept, ^ — ^although it may be conform- 
able to law, it cannot be the act of z/rec Judgment. 
If then we speak of intellectual beauty or sublim- 
ity, these expressions rkv&,flrs£, not quite accurate, 
because beauty and sublimity are rpslhetical modes 
of representation, which would not be found in us at 

DtV. I S 29 



aJl if we were pure intelligences (or even regarded 
ourselves as such in tliought). Secondly, although 
both, as objects of an intellectual (moral) satisfaction, 
are so far compatible with a^thetical satisfaction 
that they rest upon no interest, yet they are difficult 
to unite with It. because they are meant io produce 
an interest. This, if its presentation is to harmonise 
with the satisfaction in the .xsthetical judgment, 
could only arise by means of a sensible interest that 
we combine with it in the presentation ; and thus 
damage would be done to the intellectual purposive- 
ness, and it would lose its purity. 

The object of a pure and unconditioned intel- 
lectual satisfaction is the Moral Law in that might 
which it exercises in us over all mental motives thai 
precede it. This might only makes itself a;sLhetic- 
ally known to us through sacrifices (which causing a 
feeling of deprivation, though on behalf of internal 
freedom, in return discloses in us an unfathomable 
depth of this supersensible faculty, with consequences 
extending beyond our ken) ; thus the satisfaction on 
the a;sthetica! side (in relation to sensibility) is nega- 
tive, i.e. against this interest, but regarded from the 
intellectual side it is positive and combined with an 
interest. Hence it follows that the intellectual, in 
itself purposive, (moral) good, a-sthetically judged, 
must be represented as sublime rather than beautiful,! 
so that it rather awakens the feeling of respecti 
(which disdains charm) than that of love and familiar 
inclination : for human nature does not attach itselC 
to this good spontaneously, but only by the authority' 
which Reason exercises over Sensibility. Con- 
versely also, that which we call sublime in nature, 
whether external or internal (r.^. certain affections), 
is only represented as a might in the mind to 




overcome [coiaitt] * hindrances of the Sensibility by 
means of moral fundamental profjositions, and only 
thus does it interest. 

I will dwell a moment on this latter point. The 
Idea of the Good conjoined with [strong] affection 
is called enthitsiasm. This state of mind seems to be 
sublime, to the extent that we commonly assert that 
nothing great could be done without it Now every 
affection ^ is blind, either in the choice of its puqxjse, 
or, if this be supplied by Reason, in its accomplish- 
ment ; for it is a mental movement which makes it 
impossible to exercise a free deliberation about 
fundamental propositions so as to determine our- 
selves thereby. It can therefore in no way deserve 
the approval of the Reason. Nevertlieless, aesthetic- 
ally, enthusiasm is sublime, because it is a tension 
of forces produced by Ideas, which give an impulse 
to the mind, that operates far more jrawerfully and 
lastingly than the impulse arising from sensible 
representations. Uut (which seems strange) the 
absence of affection {apatheia, phlepna in signijicatu 
bono) in a mind that vigorously follows its unalter- 
able principles is sublime, and in a far preferable 
wav, because it has also on its side the satisfaction 

1 [Second Edition.] 

' Affe<tions arc specifically diffcrcnl from passions. The former 
arc related merely Id feeling ; llie latter belong to the faculty of 
desire, and are inclinations which render difficult or impossible all 
determination of the [elective] will by principles. The former arc 
stormy and unprcmcditatwl ; the latter arc steady and deliberate ; 
thus indignation in the form of wnith is iin affection, but in the form 
of hatred (revenge) is a passion. The latter r^n never and in no 
reference be called sublime; because while in an affection the 
freedom of the mind is hindtred, in a passion it is abolished. [Cf. 
Preface to the Mctaphymal Elements of Elhus^ § xvi., where this 
distinction is more fully drawn ouu AfTcciion is described as h^ify ; 
and passion is dciincd as ihe sensible appetite grown into a permanent 

OIV. I 1 19 



of pure Reason.' A mental state of this kind is 
alone called noble ; and this expression is subse- 
quently applied to things, e.g. a building, a garment, 
literarj' style, bodily presence, etc., when these do not 
so much arouse astonuhmeni (the affection produced 
by the representation of novelty exceeding our 
expectations), as admiration (astonishment that does 
not cease when the novelty disappears) ; and this 
is the case when Ideas agree in their presenta- 
tion undesignedly and artlessly with the cesthetical 

Every affection of the strenuous kind (viz. that 
excites the consciousness of our power to overcome 
every obstacle — animi slrefiui) is (esthciically subiime, 
e^. wrath, even despair [i.e. the despair of inHi^na- 
tion^ not o{ /ainlfwarledness). But affections of the 
LANGUID kind (which make the verj^ effort of resist- 
ance an object of pain — animnm iangitiditm) have 
nothing fwfi/c in themselves, but they may be reckoned 
under the sensuously beautiful. Emotiom, which may 
rise to the strength of affections, are very different. 
We have both spirited and tendt^r emotions. The 
latter, if they rise to [strong] affections, are worthless ; 
the propensity to them is called sentimentality. A 
sympathetic grief that will not admit of consolation, 
or one referring to imaginary evils to which we 
deliberately surrender ourselves — being deceived by 
fancy — as if they were actual, indicates and produces 
a tender," though weak, soul — which shows a beauti- 
ful side and which can be called fanciful, though not 
enthusiastic. Romances, lacrymose plays, shallow 

> [In tbe Preface to the Afe/afiAystca/ Elements of Ethics^ J xvii., 
Kant tpvcs t1>*= K^xvn moral aftalhy to ibal freedom from ihc swny of 
the afreciion&, which is distinguished from indifference to them.] 

'.(Kciding weicAc with Koscnkranz ; Hartcnslein and Kirch- 
mann have weist, w-htch yields no seniic.] 




moral precepts, which toy with (falsely) so-called 
moral dispositions, but in fact make the heart lan- 
guid, insensible to the severe precept of duty, and 
incapable of all respect for the worth of humanity in 
our own person, and for the rights of men (a very 
different thing from their happiness), and in general 
incapable of all steady principle ; even a religious 
discourse,* which recommends a cringing, abject 
seeking of favour and ingratialion of ourselves, which 
proposes ttie abandonment of all confidence in our own 
faculties in opposition to the evil within us, instead 
of a sturdy resolution to endeavour to overcome our 
inclinations by means of those powers which with all 
our frailty yet remain to us ; that false humility 
which sets the only way of pleasing the Supreme 
Being in sclf-deprcciatioii, in whining hypocritical 
repentance and in a mere passive state of mind — 
these are not compatible with any frame of mind 
that can be counted beautiful, still less with one 
which is to be counted sublime. 

But even stormy movements of mind which may 
be connected under the name of edification with 
Ideas of religion, or — as merely belonging to culture 
— with Ideas containing a social interest, can in no 
way, however they strain the Imagination, lay claim 
to the honour of being sublime presentations, unless 
they leave after them a mental mood which, al- 
though only indirectly, has intiuence upon the mind's 
consciousness of its strength, and its resolution in 
reference to that which involves pure intellectual 
purposiveness (the suj>ersensible). For otherwise 
all these emotions belong only to motion, which one 
would fain enjoy for the sake of liealth. The 
pleasant exhaustion, consequent upon such dls- 
I [Cf. p. 1 29 supra.] 

oiv. I • 39 simu.viTv or the Jewish law 


lurbance produced by the play of the affections, is 
an enjoyment of our wcllbeing arising from the 
restored equilibrium of the various vital forces. 
This in the end amounts to the same thing as that 
state which Eastern voluptuaries find so delightful. 
when they get their bodies as it were kneaded and 
all their muscles and joints softly pressed and bent ; 
only that in this case the motive principle is for the 
most part external, in the other case it is altogether 
internal. Many a man believes himself to be edified 
by a sermon, when indeed there is no edification at 
all (no system of good ma.\ims) ; or to be improved 
by a tragedy, when he is only glad at his ennui being 
happily dispelled. So the Sublime must always have 
reference to the disposition, i.e. to the maxims which 
furnish to the intellectual [part] and to the Ideas of 
Reason a superiority over sensibility. 

We need not fear that the feeling of the sublime 
will lose by so abstract a mode of presentation. — 
which Is quite negative in respect of what is sensible, 
—for the Imagination, although it finds nothing be- 
yond the sensible to which it can attach ilstlf, yet' 
feels itself unbounded by this removal of its limita- 
tions; and thus that very abstraction is a presentation 
of the Infinite, which can be nothing but a mere 
negative presentation, but which yet expands the 
soul. Perhaps there is no sublimer passage in the 
Jewish Law than the command, 'jyiou shait not 
make to tkyseif any graven image, nor the Ukcness 
of anything which is in heaven or in th^ earth or 
under the earth, etc. This command aJone can 
explain the enthusiasm that the Jewish people in 
their mofal period felt for their religion, when they 
compared themselves with other peoples ; or explain 
the pride which Mahommcdanism inspires. The 



I'AiiT r 

same is true of the moral law and of the tendency to 
morality In us. It is quite erroneous to fear that if 
we deprive this [tendency] of all that can recommend 
it to sense it will only involve a cold lifeless assent 
and no moving force or emotion. 1 1 is quite the other 
way, for where the senses see nothing more before 
them, and the unmistakable and indelible Idea of 
morality remains, it would be rather necessary to 
moderate the impetus of an unbounded Imagination, 
to prevent it from rising to enthusiasm, than through 
fear of the powerlessness of these Ideas to seek aid 
for them in images and childish ritual. Thus 
governments have willingly allowed religion to be 
abundantly provided with the latter accompaniments: 
and seeking thereby to relieve their subjects of 
trouble, they have also sought to deprive them of 
the faculty of extending their spiritual powers beyond 
the limits that are arbitrarily assigned to them, and 
by means of which they can be the more easily 
treated as mere passive* beings. 

This pure, elevating, merely negative presenta- 
tion of morality brings with it, on the other hand, no 
danger oK fanatkisnt, which is a belief in our capacity 
of seeing something beyond ail bounds of sensibility, 
i.e. of dreaming in accordance with fundamental 
propositions (or of going mad with Reason) ; and 
this is so just because this presentation is merely 
negative. For the inscrutablencss of th^ Idea of 
Freedom quite cuts it off from any positive pre- 
sentation ; but the moral law is in itself sufficiently 
and originally determinant in us, so that it does 
not permit us to cast a glance at any ground of 
determination external to itself. If enthusiasm is 
comparable to madness, fanaticism is comparable to 
* [Kirchniann ha$ positive but this is probably a mere misprint.] 

oiv. 1 1 19 



moftomania ; of which the lattf^r is least of all com- 
patible with the sublime, because in its detail it is 
ridiculous. In enthusiasm, regarded as an affection, 
the Imagination is without bridle ; in fanaticism, 
regarded as an inveterate, brooding passion, it is 
without rule. The first is a transitory accident 
which sometimes befalls the soundest Understand- 
ing ; the second is a disease which unsettles it. 

Simpiiciiy (purposiveness without art) is as it 
were the style of Nature in the sublime, and so also 
of Morality which is a second (supersensible) nature; 
of which we only know the laws without being able 
to reach by intuition that supersensible faculty in 
ourselves which contains the ground of the legisla- 

Now the satisfaction in the Beautiful, like that in 
the Sublime, is not alone distinguishable from other 
aisthetical judgments by its universal comnmnica- 
6iiiiy, but also because it acquires an interest through 
this very property in reference to society (in which 
this communication is possible). We must, however, 
remark that separation from ail socuty is regarded 
as sublime, if it rests upon Ideas that overlook all 
sensible interest. To be sufficient for oneself, and 
consequently to have no need of society, without at 
the same time being unsociable, i.e. without flying 
from it, is something bordering on the sublime ; 
as is any disixinsing with wants. On the other 
hand, to fly from men from mi sa 71 1 /i ropy, because we 
bear ili-will to them, or from anthropophoby (shyness), 
because we fear them as foes, is partly hateful, partly 
contemptible. There is indeed a misanthropy (very 
improperly so-called), the tendency to which fre- 
quently appears with old age in many right-thinking 
men; which is philanthropic enough as faras^(?tffl^- 




PA IT 1 

wiil to men is concerned, but which through long and 
sad experience is far removed from saiisfailuyn with 
men. Evidence of this is afforded by the propensity 
to solitude, the fantastic wish for a secluded country 
seat, or (in the case of young persons) by the dream 
of the happiness of passing one's life with a little 
family upon some island unknown to the rest of the 
world; a dream of which story-tellers or writers 
of Robinsonades know how to make good use. 
Falsehood, ingratitude, injustice, the childishness 
of the purposes regarded by ourselves as im- 
portant and great, in the pursuit of which men 
inflict upon each other all imaginable evils, are so 
contradictory to the Idea of what men might be if 
they would, and conflict so with our lively wish to 
see them better, that, in order that we may not hate 
them (since we cannot love them), the renunciation 
of all social joys seems but a small sacrifice. This 
sadness— not the sadness (of which sympathy is the 
cause) for the evils which fate brings upon others, 
—but for those things which men do to one another 
(which depends upon an antipathy in fundamental 
I propositions), is sublime, because it rests upon 
Ideas, whilst the former can only count as beauti- 
ful, — The brilliant and thorough Saitssure} in his 
account of his Alpine travels, says of one of the 
Savoy mountains, called Botthomme, " There reigns 
there a certai n insipid sadtu^ss. " He therefore 
recognised an inierestitf^ sadness, that the sight of 
a solitude might inspire, to which men might wish 
to transport themselves that they might neither hear 
nor experience any more of the world ; which, how- 
ever, would not be quite so inhospitable that it would 
offer only an extremely painful retreat. — I make 
1 [L.C roL iL p. iSi.] 

niv. I » 29 








this remark solely with the design ot indicating 
again that even depression (not dejected sadness) 
may be counted among the sturdy affections, if it 
has its ground in moral Ideas. But if it is grounded 
on sympathy and, as such, is amiable, it belongs 
merely to the languid affections. [I make this 
remark] to call attention to the state of mind which 
is subiinw only in the first case. 

We can now compare the above Transcendental 
Exposition of cesthetical judgnients with the Physio- 
logical worked out by Burke and by many clear- 
headed men among us, in order to see whither a 
merely empirical exposition of the Sublime and 
Beautiful leads. Burke, who deserves to be re- 
garded as the most important author who adopts 
this mode of treatment, infers by this method "that 
the feeling of the Sublime rests on the impulse to- 
wards self-preser\'ation and on /car, i.e. on a pain, 
which not going as far as actually to derange the parts 
of the body, produces movements which, since they 
purify the finer or grosser vessels of dangerous or, 
troublesome stoppages, are ca]>able of exciting plea- 
sant sensations ; not indeed pleasure, but a kind of 
satisfying horror, a certain tranquillity tinged with 
terror."^ The Beautiful, which he founded on love 

J [See Burke, On the Sublime and Beautiful, Part IV., Sect. 
viL '* If the pain and terror arc so modified as not to be actually 

noxious ; M the pain is not carried to violence, and the terror is not 
conversant alwut the present destruction of the person, as these 
emotions clear the parts, whether fine or gross, of a dangerous and 
troublesome incumbrance, they are capable of proriucint; delight ; 
not pleasure, but a sort of delightful liorror, a sort of tranquillity 
tinged w-iih terror ; which, as it bclon^'S to self- preservation, is one 
of the strongest of all the passions," Kant quotes from the German 
version published at Riga In 1773. This was a free translation nude 
from tlurke's fifth edition.] 




(which he wishes to keep quite separate from 
desire), he reduces lo " the relaxing, slackening, and 
enervating of the fibres of the body, and a conse- 
quent weakening, languor, and exhaustion, a faint- 
ing, dissolving, and meUing away for enjoyment." ' 
And he confirms this explanation not only by cases 
in which the Imagination in combination with the 
Understanding can excite in us the feeling of the 
Beautiful or of the Sublime, but by cases in which 
it is combined with sensation. — As psychological 
observations, these analyses of the phenomena of 
our mind are exceedingly beautiful, and afford rich 
material for the favourite investigations of empirical 
anthropology. It is also not to be denied that all 
representations in us, whether, objectively viewed, 
they are merely sensible or are quite intellectual, 
may yet subjectively be united to gratification or 
grief, however imperceptible either may be ; because 
they all affect the feeling of life, and none of them, 
so far as it is a modification of the subject, can be 
indifferent. And so, as Epicurus maintained, all 
gratification or grief may ultimately be corporeal, 
whether it arises from the representations of the 
Imagination or the Understanding ; because life 
without a feeling of bodily organs would be merely 
a consciousness of existence, without any feeling of 
well-being or the reverse, i.e. of the furthering or 
the checking of the vital powers. For the mind 
is by itself alone life (the principle of life), and 

I [See Burttc, I.e., Part IV^ Seel. itix. " Beauty acts by re- 
laxing the solids of the whole sj-stem. There are all the appear- 
ances of such a relaxation ; and a rclaxatiun somewhat beCow the 
nntural lone seems to me to l»e the ciuse of all positive pleasure. 
Who is n stranger to that manner of expression so commnn in all 
times and in all couniries, of being softened, relaxed, ener\'atcd, 
dissolved, melted away by pleasure ? "] 


hindrances or furtherances must be sought outside 
it and yet in the man, consequently in union with 
his body. 

If, however, we place the satisfaction in the 
object altoj^ether in the fact that it gratifies us by 
charm or emoUon, we must not assume that any 
other man agrees with the cesthetical judgment which 
we pass ; for as to these each one rightly consuhs 
his own individual sensibility. But in that case all 
censorship of taste would disappear, except indeed 
the example afforded by the accidental agreement 
of others in their judgments were regarded as 
commandijig our assent ; and this principle we should 
probably resist, and should appeal to the natural 
right of subjecting the judgment, which rests on the 
immediate feeling of our own well-being, to our own 
sense and not to that of any other man. 

If then the judgment of taste is not to be valid 
merely cgoisticaliy, but according to its inner nature, — 
/,*?, on account of itself and not on account of the 
examples that others give of their taste.— to be 
necessarily valitl piitralislicaiiy, if wc regard it as a 
judgment which may exact the adhesion of every 
one ; then there must He at its basis some a priori 
principle (whether objective or subjective) to which 
we can never attain by seeking out the empirical 
laws of mental changes. For these only enable us 
to know how we judge, but do not prescribe to us 
how wc ought to judge. They do not supply an 
rtneoftdi/iouii/ command,^ such as judgments of taste 
presuppose, inasmuch as they require that the 
satisfaction be imtncdiakiy connected with the 
representation. Thus the empirical exposition of 

' [Rc.iding GehotyiyCti Hartenstein and Rosenkrani ; Kirchmann 
h&s Geutz.^ 




assthetical judgments may be a beginning of a 
collection of materials for a higher investigation ; 
but a transcendental discussion of this faculty is also 
possible, and is an essential part of the Kritik of 
Taste. For if it had not a priori principles, it could 
not possibly piiss sentence on the judgments of 
others, and it could not approve or blame them 
with any api>carance of right. 

The remaining part of the Analytic of the 
i^slhetical Judgment contains first the 


§ 30. Tlie Deduction of ftsi/tetical judgtnents on the 
objects of nature must not be directed to what 
we call Sublime in nature, but only to the 

The claim of an aesthetical judgment to universal 
validity for every subject requires, as a judgment 
resting on some a priori principle, a Deduction (or 
legitimatising of its pretensions) in addition to its 
Exposition ; if it is concerned with satisfaction or 
dissatisfaction in the fof^n of the Object. Of this 
kind are judgments of taste about the Beautiful in 
Nature. For in that case the purposiveness has its 
ground in the Object and in its figure, although it 
does not indicate its reference to other objects in 
accordance with concepts (for a cognitive judgment), 
but merely has to do in general with the appre- 
hension of this form, so far as it shows itself con- 
formable to the faculty of concepts and of the pre- 
sentation (which is identical with the apprehension) 

^ [Second Ettition.] 

DIV. I I 30 



of them in the mind. We can thus, in respect 
of the Beautiful in nature, suggest many questions 
touching the cause of this purposiveness of their 
forms, e.g., to explain why nature has scattered 
abroad beauty with such profusion, even in the 
depth of the ocean, where the human eye (for 
which alone that purposiveness exists) but seldom 

But the Sublime in nature — if we are passing 
upon it a pure arsthetical judgment, notmi.xedup with 
any concepts of perfection or objective purposive- 
ness, in which case it would be a teleological 
judgment — may be regarded as quite formless or 
devoid of figure, and yet as the object of a pure 
satisfaction ; and it may display a subjective 
purposiveness in the given representation. And we 
ask if, for an arsthetical judgment of this kind, — over 
and above the Exposition of what is thought in it, — 
a Deduction also of its claim to any (subjective) 
a priori principle may be demanded. 

To which we may answer that the Sublime in 
nature is improperly so called, and that properly 
speaking the word should only be applied to a 
state of mind, or rather to its founflation in 
human nature. The apprehension of an otherwise 
formless and unpurposive object gives merely the 
occasion, through which we become conscious of 
such a state ; the object is thus cmp/oyed as 
subjectively purposive, but is not judged as such 
in i/se//and on account of its form (it is. as it were, 
a species Jitia/is accepla, nan data). Hence our 
Exposition of judgments concerning the Sublime in 
nature was at the same time their Deduction. For 
when we analysed the reflection of the Judgment in 
such acts, we found in them a purposive relation of 




the cognitive faculties, which must be ascribed 
ultimately to the faculty of purposes (the will), and 
hence is itself purposive a priori. This then 
immediately involves the Deduction, ix, the 
justification of the claim of such a judgment to 
universal and necessary validity. 

We shall therefore only have to seek for the 
deduction of judgments of Taste, i.e. of judgments 
about the Beauty of natural things ; we shall thus 
treat satisfactorily the problem with which the whole 
faculty of a:sthetical Judgment is concerned. 

§31. Of the method of diduciion of judgments 
of Taste 

A Deduction, i.e. the guarantee of the legitimacy 
of a class of judgments, is only obligatory if the 
judgment lays chum to necessity. This it does, if 
it demands even subjective universality or the agree- 
ment of every one, although it is not a judgment 
of cognition but only one of pleasure or pain in a 
given object ; i.e. it assumes a subjective purpos- 
iveness thoroughly valid for every one, which must 
not be based on any concept of the thing, because 
the judgment is one of taste. 

We have before us in the latter case no cognitive 
judgment — neither a theoretical one based on the 
concept of a Nature in general formed by the Under- 
standing, nor a (pure) practical one Imsed on the 
Idea of Freedom, as given a priori by Reason. 
Therefore we have to justify a pnori the validity 
neither of a judgment which represents what 
thing is, nor of one which prescribes that I ought^ 
to do something in order to produce it. We have, 
merely to prove for the Judgment generally th< 

DIV. 1 (JI 



universal vaiidity of a singular judgment that ex- 
presses the subjective purposiveness of an empirical 
representation of tlie form of an object ; in order 
to explain how it is possible thai a thing can please 
in the mere act of judging it (without sensation or 
concept), and how the satisfaction of one mail can 
be proclaimed as a rule for every other : just as the 
act of judging of an object for the sake of a cogniiion 
in general has universal rules. 

If now this universal validity is not to be based 
on any collecting of the suffrages of others, or on 
any questioning of them as to the kind of sensations 
they have, but is to rest, as it were, on an autonomy 
of the judging subject in respect of the feeling of 
pleasure (in the given representation), i.e. on his 
own taste, and yet Is not to be derived from con- 
cepts ; then a judgment like this — such as the 
judgment of taste is, in fact — has a twofold logical 
peculiarity. First, there is its a priori universal 
validity, which is not a logical universality in ac- 
cordance with concepts, but the universality of a 
singular judgment. Second/y, it has a necessity 
(which must always rest on a priori grounds), 
which however does not depend on any a priori 
grounds of proof, through the representation of 
which the assent that every one concedes to the 
judgment of taste could be exacted. 

The explanation of these logical peculiarities, 
wherein a judgment of taste is different from all 
cognitive judgments — if we at the outset abstract 
from all content, viz., from the feeling of pleasure, 
and merely compare the a;sthetical form with the 
form of objective judgments as logic prescribes it 
-7-is sufficient by itself for the deduction of this 
singular faculty. We shall then represent and elu- 




cidate by examples these characteristic properties of 

§ 32. First peculiarity of tlu jndgtneni of Taste 

The judgment of t^iste determines its object in 
respect of satisfaction (in its beauty) with an ac- 
companying claim for the assent of every one, just 
as if it were objective. 

To say that " tliis tlower is beautiful " is the 
same as to assert its proper claim to satisfy every 
one. By the pleasantness of its smell it has no 
such claim. A smell which one man enjoys gives 
another a headache. Now what are we to presume 
from this except that beauty is to be regarded as 
a property of the flower itself, which does not ac- 
commodate itself to any diversity of persons or of 
their sensitive organs, but to which these must 
accommodate themselves if they are to pass any 
judgment upon it ? And yet this is not so. For 
a judgment of taste consists in calling a thing 
beautiful just because of that characteristic in respect 
of which it accommodates itself to our mode of 

Moreover, it Is required of ever)' judgment which 
is to prove the taste of the subject, that the subject 
shall judge by himself, without needing to grope 
about empirically among the judgments of others, 
and acquaint himself previously as to their satisfac- 
tion or dissatisfaction with the same object ; thus 
his judgment should be pronounced a priori, and 
not be a mere imitation because the thing actually 
gives universal pleasure. However, we ought to 
think that an a priori judgment must contain a 
concept of the Object, for the cognition of which 

Dir. 1 1 32 



it contains the principle ; but the judgment of taste 
is not based upon concepts at all, and is in general 
not a cognitive but an aesthetical judgment. 

Thus a young poet does not permit himself to 
be dissuaded out of his conviction that his poem is 
beautiful, by the judgment of the public or of his 
friends ; and if he gives ear to them he does so, 
not because he now judges differently, but because, 
although (in regard to him) the whole public has 
false taste, in his desire for applause he finds reason 
for accommodating liimself to the common error 
(even against his judgment). It is only at a later 
time, when his Judgment has been sharpened by 
exercise, that he voluntarily departs from his former 
judgments ; just as he proceeds with those of his 
judgments which rest upon Reason. Taste [merely]^ 
claims autonomy. To make the judgments of others 
the determining grounds of his own would be heter- 

That we, and rightly, recommend the works of 
the ancients as models and call their authors classical, 
thus forming among writers a kind of noble class 
who give laws to the people by their example, seems 
to indicate a posteriori sources of taste, and to con- 
tradict the autonomy of taste in every subject. But 
we might just as well say that the old mathematicians, 
— who are regarded up to the present day as supply- 
ing models not easily to be dispensed with for the 
supreme profundity and elegance of their synthetical 
methods, — prove that our Reason is only imitative, 
and that wo have not the faculty of producing from 
it in combination with intuition rigid proofs by 
means of the construction of concepts.^ There is 

' [Second Edition.] 

2 [Cf. Kritik of Pure Reason^ Methodology, c. I, § i. 





no use of our powers, however free, no use of 
Reason itself (which must create all its judgments 
a priori from common sources) which would not 
give rise to faulty attempts, if ever)^ subject had 
always to begin anew from the rude basis of his 
natural state, and if others had not preceded him 
with their attempts. Not that these make mere 
imitators of those who come after them, but rather 
by their procedure they put others on the track 
of seeking in themselves principles and so of pursu- 
ing their own course, often a better one. Even in 
religion — where certainly every one has to derive 
the rule of his conduct from himself, because he 
remains responsible for it and cannot shift the 
blame of his transgressions upon others, whether 
his teachers or his predecessors — there is never 
as nuich accon\pIished by means of universal pre- 
cepts, either obtained from priests or philosophers 
or got from oneself, as by means of an example 
of virtue or holiness which, exhibited in history, 
does not dispense with the autonomy of virtue 
based on the proper and original Idea of morality 
(a priori), or change it into a mechanical imitation. 
Following, involving something precedent, not 
"imitation," is the right expression for all inJluencc 
that the products of an exemplary author may 
have upon others. And this only means that we 
draw fisom the same sources as our predecessor 
did, and learn from him only the way to avail 
ourselves of them. But of all faculties and talents 
Taste, because its judgment is not determinable by 
concepts and precepts, is just that one which most 
needs examples of what has In the progress of culture 

constnirtion of a concept is the a priori presentation of ihe corre- 
sponding intuition,"] 

BIV. I f 33 



received the longest approval ; that it may not 
become again uncivilised and return to the crudeness 
of its first essays. 

§ 33- Second peculiarity of the jitdgineni of Taste 

The judgment of taste is not determinable by 
grounds of proof, just as if it were merely subjective. 

If a man, in the first place, does not find a build- 
ing, a prospect, or a poem beautiful, a hundred voices 
all highly praising it will not force his inmost agree- 
ment. He may indeed feign that it pleases him in 
hOrder that he may not be regarded as devoid of 
taste ; he may even begin to doubt whether he has 
formed his taste on a knowledge of a sufficient 
number of objects of a certain kind (just as one, 
who believes that he recognises in the distance as a 
forest, something which all others regard as a town, 
doubts the judgment of his own sight). But he 
clearly sees that the agreement of others gives no 
valid proof of the judgment about beauty. Others 
might perhaps see and observe for him : and what 
many have seen in one way, although he believes 
that he has seen it differently, might serve him as 
an adequate ground of proof of a theoretical and 
consequently logical judgment. But that a thing 
has pleased others could never serve as the basis 
of an a:sthetical judgment. A judgment o/ others 
which is unfavourable to ours may indeed rightly 
make us scrutinise our own carefully, but it can 
never convince us of its incorrectness. There is 
therefore no t.m.^\x\Q.^ ground of proof 'w\\\c\\. would 
force a judgment of taste u|x>n any one. 

Still less, in the second place, can an a priori 
proof determine according to definite rules a judg- 




ment about beauty. If a man reads me a poem of 
his or brings me to a play, which does not on the 
whole suit my taste, he may bring forward in proof 
of the beauty of his poem Batteitx^ or Lcssing or 
still more ancient and famous critics of taste, and 
ail the rules laid down by them ; certain passages 
which displease me may agree very well with rules 
of beauty (as they have been put forth by these 
writers and are universally recognised): but I stop 
my ears, I will listen to no arguments and no 
reasoning ; and I will rather assume that these rules 
of the critics are false, or at least that they do not 
apply to the case in question, than admit that my 
judgment should be determined by grounds of proof 
a priori. For it is to be a judgment of Taste and 
not of Understanding or Reason. 

It seems that this is one of the chief reasons 
why this iesthelical faculty of judgment has been 
given the name of Taste. For though a man 
enumerate to me all the ingredients of a dish, and 
remark that each is separately pleasant to mc and 
further extol with justice the wholesomeness of this 
particular food — yet am 1 deaf to all these reasons ; 
I try the dish with my tongue and my palate, and 
thereafter (and not according to universal principles) 
do I pass my judgment. 

In fact the judgment of Taste always takes the 
form of a singular judgment about an Object. The 
Understanding can form a universal judgment by 
comparing the Object in point of the satisfaction it 
affords with the judgment of others upon it : e.g. 
"all tulips are beautiful." But then this is not a 
judgment of taste but a logical judgment, which 

* [Cliarles Katieux (1713-1780), author of I^s Beaux Arts 
reduits ^ un mime phndpe.'\ 

PIV. I I 34 



takes the relation of an Object to taste as the 
predicate of things of a certain species. That 
judgment, however, in which I find an individual 
given tulip beautiful, i.e. in which I find my satis- 
faction in the object to be universally valid, is alone 
a judgment of taste. Its peculiarity consists in the 
fact that, although it has merely subjective validity, 
it claims the assent of all subjects, exactly as it 
would do if it were an objective judgment resting 
on grounds of knowledge, that could be established 
by a proof. 

§ 34. There is no objective principle of Taste 


By a principle of taste I mean a principle under 
the condition of which wc could subsume the con- 
cept of an object and thus infer by means of a 
syllogism that the object is beautiful. Rut that is 
absolutely impossible. 'For I must immediately 
feel pleasure in the representation of the Object, 
and of that I can be persuaded by no grounds of 
proof whatever. Although, as Hunw says.' all critics 
can reason more plausibly than cooks, yet the same 
fate awaits them. They cannot expect the deter- 
mining ground of their judgment (to be derived] 
from the force of the proofs, but only from the 
reflection of the subject upon :ts own proper state 

• [Ess.-iy XVI 1 1, The Sceptic. "Critics can reason and dispute 
more plausibly than cooks or perfumers. We may obser^'C, however, 
ihat this unifoniiily among human kind, liinders not, but thai there 
is a considerable diversity in the sentiments of beauiy and worth, and 
that cduciitiim, custom, prejudice, caprice, and humour, frequently 
vary our laslc of this kind. . . . Beauty and worth are merely of a 
relative nature, and consist in an agreeable sentiment, produced by 
an object in a particular mind, according to the peculiar strunure and 
constitution of that mind."] 




(of pleasure or pain), all precepts and rules being 

But although critics can and ought to pursue 
their reasonings so that our judgments of taste may 
be corrected and extended, it is not with a view to 
set forth the determining ground of this kind of 
tusthetica! judgments in a universally applicable 
formula, which is impossible ; but rather to investi- 
Igaie the cognitive faculties and their exercise in 
these judgments, and to explain by examples the 
reciprocal subjective purposiveness, the form of 
which, as has been shown above, in a given repre- 
sentation, constitutes the beauty of the object. 
Therefore the Kritik of Taste is only subjective 
as regards the representation through which an 
object is given to us ; viz. it is the art or- 
science of reducing to rules the reciprocal rela- 
tion between the Understanding and the Imagina- 
tion in the given representation (without reference 
to any preceding sensation or concept). That 
is, it is the art or science of reducing to rules 
their accordance or discordance, and of determining 
the conditions of this. It is an ari, if it only shows 
this by examples ; it is a scietue if it derives the 
possibility of such judgments from the nature of 
these faculties, as cognitive faculties in general. 
We have here, in Transcendental Kritik. only to do 
with the latter. It should develop and justify the 
subjective principle of taste, as an a priori principle 
of the Judgment. This Kritik. as an art, merely 
seeks to apply, in the judging of objects, the physio- 
logical (here psychological), and therefore empirical 
rules, according to which taste actually proceeds 
(without taking any account of tluir possibility) ; 
and it criticises the products of beautiful art just as. 

Div. 1 i 35 



regarded as a science, it criticises the faculty by 
which they are judged. 

§ 35. The principk of Task is the subjective 
principle of Jitds^mcnt in general 

The judgment of taste is distinguished from a 
logical judgment in this, that the latter subsumes a 
representation under the concept of the Object, 
while the former does not subsume it under any 
concept ; because otherwise the necessary universal 
agreement [in these judgments] would be capable 
of being compellctl by proofs. Nevertheless it is 
like the latter in this, that it claims universality and 
necessity, though not according to concepts of the 
fObject, and consequently a merely subjective neces- 
sity. Now, because the concepts in a judgment 
constitute its content (what belongs to the cognition 
of the Object), but the judgment of taste is not 
determinable by concepts, it is based only on the 
subjective formal condition of a judgment in general 
The subjective condition of all judgments is the 
faculty of judgment itself. This when used with 
reference to a representation by which an object is 
given, requires the accordance of two representative 
■powers: viz. Imagination (for the intuition and 
comprehension of the manifold) and Understanding 
(for the concept as a representation of the unity of 
this comprehension). Now because no concept 
of the Object lies here at the basis of the judgment, 
it can only consist in the subsumption of the 
Imagination itself (in the case of a representation 
by which an object is given) under the conditions 
that the Understanding requires to pass from intui- 
tion to concepts. That is, because the freedom of the 




fAKT t 

Imagination consists in the fact that it schematises 
without any concept, the judgment of taste must 
rest on a mere sensation of the reciprocal activity of 
the Imagination in \\s freedom and the Understand- 
ing with its conformity to law. It must therefore 
rest on a feeling, which makes us judge the object 
by the purposiveness of the representation (by 
which an object is given) in respect of the 
furtherance of the cognitive faculty in its free play. 
Taste, then, as subjective Judgment, contains a 
principle of subsumption. not of intuitions under 
concepts, but of the faculty of intuitions or pre- 
sentations (/>. the Imagination) under the faculty 
of the concepts [i.e. the Understanding); so far as 
the former in its freedom harmonises with the latter 
in its conformity to lata. 

In order to discover this ground of legitimacy 
by a deduction of the judgments of taste we can 
only take as a clue the formal peculiarities of this 
kind of judgments, and consequently can only con- 
sider their logical form. 

§ 36. Of the problem of a Deduction of judgments 
of Tfiste 

The concept of an Object in general can im- 
mediately be combined with the perception of an 
object, containing its empirical predicates, so as 
to form a cognitive judgment ; and it is thus that a 
judgment of e-\pericnce is produced.' At the basis 
of this lie a priori concepts of the synthetical 
unity of the manifold of intuition, by which the 

* [For the distinction, an iraportani one in Kant, between judg- 
ments of experience and judsnients of perception, '^t^ h\s Pri}/fgi>mina, 
§ 1 8. Cf. Kiwi's Criticat Phihivphy /or £nfffisk Keadtrs^ vol. i. 
p. 116.] 



manifold is thought as the determination of an 
Object. These concepts (the Categories) require 
a Deduction, which is given in the Kritik of pure 
Reason ; and by it we can get the solution of the 
problem, how are synthetical a prion cognitive 
judgments ix)ssiblc ? This problem concerns then 
the a priori principles of the pure Understanding 
and its theoretical judgments. 

But with a perception theVe can also be com- 
bined a feeling of pleasure (or pain) and a satis- 
faction, that accompanies the representation of the 
Object and serves instead of its predicate ; thus 
there can result an a:sthetical non-cognitive judgment. 
At the basis of such a judgment — if it is noi a mere 
judgment of sensation but a formal judgment of 
reflection, wliich imputes the same satisfaction 
necessarily to every one, — must lie some a priori 
principle ; which may be merely subjective (if an ob- 
jective one should prove impossible for judgments of 
this kind), but also as such may need a Deduction, 
thnt we may thereby comprehend how an ccsthetical 
judgment can lay claim to necessity. On this is 
founded the problem with which we are now 
occupied, how are judgments of taste possible } 
This problem then has to do with the a priori 
principles of the pure faculty of Judgment in 
rt'xM^/zi'iz/judgmenis; i.e. judgments in which it has 
not (as in theoretical ones) merely to subsume under 
objective concepts of Understanding, and in which 
it is subject to a law, but in which it is, itself, 
subjectively, both object and law. 

This problem then may be thus represented ; 
how is a judgment possible, in which merely from 
oitr own feeling of pleasure in an object, inde- 
pendently of its concept, wc judge that this pleasure 




attaches to the reprcsenlation of the same Object 
in evt'^-y oilier mbjecty and that a pnori without 
' waiting for the accordance of others ? 

It is easy to see that judgments of taste are 
synthetical, because they go beyond the concept 
and even beyond the Intuition of the Object, and 
add to that intuition as predicate something that is 
not a cognition, viz. a feeling of pleasure (or pain). 
Although the predicate (of the personal pleasure 
bound up with the representation) is empirical, never-' 
tlieless, as concerns the required assent of every one 
the judgments are apriori, or desire to be regarded as 
such ; and this is already involved in the expressions 
of this claim. Thus this problem of the Kritik of 
Judgment belongs to the general problem of trans- 
cendental philosophy, how are synthetical a priori 
judgments possible? 

§ 37. W/ial is properly asserted a priori 0/ an 
object in a jndgme7d of Taste 

That the representation of an object is immedi-' 
ately bound up with pleasure can only be internally 
perceived, and if we did not wish to indicate 
anything more than this it would give a merely 
empirical judgment. For 1 cannot combine a 
definite feeling (of pleasure or pain) with any 
representation except where there is at bottom an 
a priori principle in the Reason determining the 
Will. I n that case the pleasure (in the moral 
feeling) is the consequence of the principle, but 
cannot be compared with the pleasure in taste, 
because it requires a definite concept of a law ; and 
the latter ple^csure, on the contrary, must be 
bound up witli the mere act of judging, prior to all 

mv. 1 1 38 



concepts. Hence also all judgments of taste arc 
singular judgments, because 'they do not combine j 
their predicate of satisfaction with a concept, but 
with a given individual empirical representation. 

And so it is not the pleasure, but the universal 
vaiidUy of this pleasure, perceived as mentally 
bound up with the mere judgment upon an object, 
which is represented a prioi-i in a judgment of 
taste as a universal rule for the Judgment and valid 
for every one. It is an empirical judgment [to say] 
that I perceive and judge an object with pleasure. 
But it is an a priori judgment [to say] that I find it 
beautiful, ?>. I attribute this satisfaction necessarily 
to every one. 

§ 38. Deduction of judgments of Taste 

If it be admitted that in a pure judgment of 
taste the satisfaction in the object is combined with 
the mere act of judging its form, it is nothing else 
than its subjective purposivencss for the Judgment 
which we feel to be mentally combined with the 
representation of the object. The Judgment, as 
regards the formal rules of its action, apart from all 
matter (whether sensation or concept), can only be 
directed to the .subjective conditions of its employ- 
ment in general (it is applied ^ neither to a particular 
mode of sense nor to a particular concept of the 
Understanding) ; and consequently to that subjective 
[element] which we can pre-suppose in all men (as 
requisite for possible cognition in general). Thus 
the agreement of a representation with these con- 
ditions of the Judgment must be capable of being 
assumed as valid a priori for every one. I.e. we 

' [First Edition has *' limiied.'*] 




may rightly impute to every one the pleasure or the 
subjective purposiveness of the representation for 
the relation between the cognitive faculties in the 
act of judging a sensible object in general' 


This deduction is thus easy, because it has no 
need to jusiify the objective reality of any concept, 
for Beauty is not a concept of the Object and the 
judgment of taste is not cognitive. It only maintains 
that we are justified in pre-supposing universally in 
ever)' man those subjective conditions of the Judg- 
ment which we find in ourselves ; and further, that 
we have rightly subsumed the given Object under 
these conditions. The latter has indeed unavoidable 
difficuUies which do not beset the logical Judgment. 
There we subsume under concepts, but in the 
a;sthetical Judgment under a merely sensible rela- 
tion between the Imagination and Understanding 
mutually harmonising in the representation of the 
form of the Object, — in which case the subsumption 
may easily be deceptive. Yet the legitimacy of 
the claim of the Judgment in counting upon uni- 
versal assent is not thus annulled ; it reduces itself 

1 In order to be justified in claiming universal assent for an 
ieslhctical judgment that rests merely on subjective grounds, it is 
sufRcient to assume, (t) (hat the subjective conditions of the 
Judgment, as regards the reUlion of the rognitive powers thus put 
into activity to a coj,'nition in general, are the same in all men. 
This must be true, because othcnvisc men would not be able tai 
communicate their representations or even llieir knowledge, {iy 
The jud^jmenl must merely have reference to this rrlation (con- 
sequently to \h.c formal canditifin of the Judgment) and be pure, i>, 
not mingled either with concepts of the Object or with sensations, as 
determining grounds. If there has been any mistake as regards 
this latter condition, then there is only an inaccumtc appUcalion of 
the privilege, which a law gives us, to a particular case ; but that 
does not destroy the privilege itself in general 


merely to judging as valid for everj' one the cor- 
rectness of ihe principle from subjective grounds. 
For as to the difficulty or doubt concerning the 
correctness of the subsumption under that principle, 
it makes the legitimacy of the claim of an a.'sthetical 
judgment in general to such validity and the prin- 
ciple of the same, as little doubtful, as the alike 
(though neither so commonly nor readily) faulty 
subsumption of the logical Judgment under its" 
principle can make the latter, an objective principle, 
doubtful. But if the question were to be, how is 
it possible to assume nature a priori to be a com- 
plex of objects of taste ? this problem has reference 
to Teleology, because it must be regarded as a 
purpose of nature essentially belonging to its con- 
cept to exhibit forms that are purposive for our 
Jutigmcnt. But the correctness of this latter as- 
sumption is very doubtful, whereas the elificacy of 
natural beauties is patent to experience. 

§ 39. Of the communicability of a Sensation 

If sensation, as the real in perception, is related 
to knowledge, it is called sensation of the senses ; 
and its specific quality may be represented as gener- 
ally communicable in a uniform way, if we assume 
that every one has senses like our own. But this 
cannot at all be presupposed of any single sensation. 
To a man who is deficient in the sense of smell, 
this kind of sensation cannot be communicated ; 
and even if it is not wholly deficient, we cannot 
be certain that he gets exactly the same sensation 
from a flower that we have. But even more must 
we represent men as differing in respect of the 
pkasanlness or unplcasantmss involved in the sen- 




sation from the same object of sense ; and it is 
absolutely not to be required that every man should 
take pleasure in the same objects. Pleasure of this 
kind, because it comes into the mind through the 
senses, in respect of which therefore we are passive, 
we may call the pleasure of enjoyment. 

Satisfaction in an action because of its moral 
character is on the other hand not the pleasure of 
enjoyment, but of spontaneity and its accordance 
with the Idea of its destination. But this feeling, 
called moral, requires concepts, and presents not free 
purposiveness, but purposiveness that is conformable 
to law ; it therefore admits of being universally 
communicated only by means of Reason, and, if the 
pleasure is to be homogeneous for every one, by 
very definite practical concepts of Reason. 

Pleasure in the Sublime in nature, regarded as 
a pleasure of rational contemplation, also makes 
claim to universal participation ; but it presupposes, 
besides, a different feeling, \\z. that of our super- 
sensible destination, which, however obscurely, has a 
moral foundation. Hut that other men will take 
account of it, and will find a satisfaction in the con- 
sideration of the wild greatness of nature (that 
certainly cannot be ascribed to its aspect, which is 
rather terrifying), I am not absolutely justified in 
supposing. Nevertheless, in consideration of the 
fact that on every suitable occasion regard should be 
had to these moral dispositions, I can impute such 
satisfaction to every man, but only by means of the 
moral law which on its side again is based on 
concepts of Reason, 

On the contrary, pleasure in the Beautiful is 
neither a pleasure of enjoyment nor of a law-abid- 
ing activity, nor even of rational contemplation in 

MV. I t 40 



accordance with Ideas, but of mere reflection. With- 
out having as rule any purpose or fundamental 
proposition, this pleasure accompanies the ordinary 
apprehension of an object by the Imagination, as 
faculty of intuition, in relation with the Understand- 
ing, as faculty of concepts, by means of a procedure 
of the Judgment which it must also exercise on 
behalf of the commonest experience ; only that in 
the latter case it is in order to perceive an empirical 
objective concept, in the former case (in iuslhetical 
judgments) merely to perceive the accordance of the 
representation with the harmonious (subjectively 
purposive) activity of both cognitive faculties in their 
freedom, i.e. to feel with pleasure the mental state 
produced by the representation. This pleasure 
must necessarily depend for ever)' one on the same 
conditions, for they are subjective conditions of the 
possibility of a cognition in general ; and the pro- 
portion between these cognitive faculties requisite 
for Taste is also requisite for that ordinary sound 
Understanding which we have to presuppose in 
every one. Therefore he who judges with taste (if 
only he does not go astray in this act of conscious- 
ness and mistake matter for form or charm for 
beauty) may impute to every one subjective purpose- 
iveness, i.e. his satisfaction in the Object, and may 
assume his feeling to be universally communicable 
and that without the mediation of concepts. 

§ 40. 0/ TasU as a Jhitt/^ 0/ scnsus communis 

We often give to the Judgment, if we are con- 
sidering the result rather than the act of its reflection, 
the name of a sense, and we speak of a sense of 
truth, or of a sense of decorum, of justice, etc. And 




yet we know, or at least we ought to know, that 
these concepts cannot have their place in Sense, and 
further, that Sense has not the least capacity for 
expressing universal rules -, but that no representa- 
tion of tnith, fitness, beauty, or justice, and so forth, 
could come into ovir thoughts if we could not rise 
beyond Sense to higher faculties of cognition. Tlu 
common Undersiatiding of men, which, as the mere 
healthy (not yet cultivated) Understanding, we regard 
as the least to be expected from any one claiming the 
name of man, has therefore the doubtful honour of 
being given the name of common sense {setisus com- 
munis) ; and in such a way that by the name 
common (not merely in our language, where the word 
actually has a double signification, but in many 
others) we understand vuigar, that which is every- 
where met with, the possession of which indicates 
absolutely no merit or superiority. 

But under the sensus cofnmunis we must include 
the Idea of a sense common to ail, i.e. of a faculty of 
judgment, which in its reflection lakes account 
{a priori) of the mode of representation of all other 
men in thought ; in order as it mere to compare its 
judgment with the collective Reason of humanity, 
and thus to escape the illusion arising from the 
private conditions that could be so easily taken for 
objective, which would injuriously affect the judg- 
ment. This is done by comparing our judgment 
with the possible rather than the actual judgments 
of others, and by putting ourselves in the place of 
any other man, by abstracting from the limitations 
which contingently attach to our own judgment. 
This, again, is brought about by leaving aside as 
much as possible the matter of our representative 
state, i.e. sensation, and simply having respect to 

DIT. I I 40 



the formal peculiarities of our representation or 
representative state. Now this operation of reflec- 
tion seems perhaps too artificial to be attributed 
to the faculty called common sense ; but it only 
appears so, when expressed in abstract formula:. 
Jn itself there is nothing more natural than to 
abstract from charm or emotion if we are seeking a 
judgment that is to serve as a universal rule. 

The following Maxims of common human Under- 
standing do not properly come in here, as parts of 
the Kritik of Taste ; but yet they may serve to 
elucidate its fundamental propositions. They are: 
lo to think for oneself; 2" to put ourselves in thought 
in the place of every one else ; 3" always to think 
consistently. The first is the maxim of unprejudiced 
thought ; the second of enlarged thought ; the third 
of cotisecutive thought.' The first Is the maxim of 
a never passive Reason. The tendency to such 
passivity, and therefore to heteronomy of the 
Reason, is called prejudice ; and the greatest pre- 
judice of all is to represent nature <is not subject 
to the rules that the Understanding places at its 
basis by means of its own essential law, i.e. is 
superstition. Deliverance from superstition is called 
enlightenment ;' because although this name be- 
longs to deliverance from prejudices in general. 

' [Kant lays dawn these rhrec maxims in his Introduition lo Logic^ 
§ vii, as "general nilcs and conditions of the avaidiince of error.") 

* Wc soon see that although enlightenment is easy in lh£st\ yet in 
hyfotkesi it is difficult and slow of .iccomplishmcni. For no: to be 
passive as regards Reason, but to be always self-legislative, \% indeed 
t|uite easy for ihf man who wishes only to be in accordance with his 
essential pur^Msc, and does not desire to know what is beyond his 
Understanding. But since we can hardly avoid seeking this, and 
thei-e are never wanting others who promise with much confidence 
that they are able to satisfy our curiosity, it must be very liard to 
maintain in or rcrstore lo the mind (especially the n^inH of the public) 
that bare negative which properly constitutes enlightenmc 




yet superstition specially {in sensu eyninenti) de- 
serves to be called a prejudice. For the blindness 
in which superstition places us, which it even im- 
poses on us as an obligation, makes the need of 
being guided by others, and the consequent passive 
state of our Reason, peculiarly noticeable. As 
regards the second maxim of the mind, we are 
otherwise wont to call him limited (6orn^, the 
opposite of enhr^ed) whose talents attain to no 
great use (especially as regards intensity.) But 
here we are not speaking of the faculty of cognition, 
but of the mode of though/ which makes a purposive 
use thereof. However small may be the area or the 
degree to which a man's natural gifts reach, yet it 
indicates a man of enlarged thought if he disregards 
the subjective private conditions of his own judg- 
ment, by whicli so many others are confined, and 
reflects upon it from a universal standpoint (which 
he can only determine by placing himself at the 
standpoint of others). The third maxim, viz. that 
oi consecutive thought, is the most difficult to attain, 
and can only be attained by the combination of both 
the former, and after the constant observance of 
them has grown into a habit. We may say that 
the first of these maxims is the maxim of Under- 
standing, the second of Judgment, and the third of 
Reason. >^ ^^^ 

I take up again the threads interrupted by this 
digression, and I say that Taste can be called sensus 
communis with more justice than sound Under- 
standing can ; and that the sesthetlcal Judgment 
rather than the intellectual may bear the name 
of a sense common to all,' if we are willing to use 

' Wc m.iy designate Tasic as si/isus communii izstketicuSy common 
Understanding ^^ semus iommunis lo^ictts. 

DIV. 1 > 41 



the word "sense" of an effect of mere reflection 
upon the mind : for then we understand by sense 
the feeling of pleasure. We could even define 
Taste as the faculty of judging of that which makes^ 
mih'ersa/fy cotmtmnicable, without the mediation of 
a concept, our feeling in a given representation. 

The skill that men have in communicating their 
thoughts requires also a relation between the Ima- 
gination and the Understanding in order to associate 
intuitions with concepts, and concepts again with 
those concepts, which then combine in a cognition. 
But in that case the agreement of the two mental 
powers is according to law, under the constraint of 
definite concepts. Only where the Imagination in 
its freedom awakens the Understanding, and is put 
by it into regular play without the aid of concepts, 
does the representation communicate itself not as a 
thought but as an internal feeling of a purposive 
state of the mind. 

Taste is then the faculty of judging a priori oi 
the communicability of feelings that are bound up 
with a given representation (without the mediation 
of a concept). 

If we could assume thai the mere universal 
communicability of a feeling must carry in itself an 
interest for us with it (which, however, we are not 
justified in concluding from the character of a 
merely reflective Judgment), we should be able 
to explain why the feeling in the judgment of taste 
comes to be imputed to every one, so to speak, as 
a dut)'. 

§41. Of Ihe empirical interest in the Beautiful 
That the judgment of taste by which something 



■•1.RT t 

is declared beautiful must have no interest as Us 
detertnining ground \\7\s> been sufficiently established 
above. But it does not follow that after it has been 
given as a pure cesthetical judgment, no interest can 
be combined with it. This combination, however, 
can only be indirect. i.€. taste must first of all be 
represented as combined with something else, in 
order that we may unite with the satisfaction of 
mere reflection upon an object a picasutr in its 
existence (as that wherein all interest consists). For 
here also in xsthetical judgments what we say in 
cognitive judgments (of things in general) is valid ; 
a posse ad esse non 'i*alei lonsequentia. This 
something else may be empirical, viz. an inclination 
proper to human nature, or intellectual, as the 
property of the Will of being capable of a priori 
determination by Reason. Both these involve a 
satisfaction in the presence of an Object, and so can 
lay the foundation for an interest in what has by 
itself pleased without reference to any interest 

/ Empirically the Beautiful interests only in 
society. If we admit the impulse to society as natural 
to man, and his fitness for it, and his propension 
towards it. i.e. sociability, as a requisite for man as 
a being destined for society, and so as a property 
belonging to htunanity, we cannot escape from 
regarding taste as a faculty for judging everything 
in respect of which we can communicate our feeling 
to all other men, and so as a means of furthering 
that which every one's natural inclination desires, 

A man abandoned by himself on a desert island 
would adorn neither his hut nor his person; nor 
would he seek for flowers, still less would he grow 
plants, in order to adorn himself therewith. It is 

mv. I I 4 1 



only in society thai it occurs lo him to be not merely 
a man, but a refined man after his kind (the be- 
ginning of civilisation). For such do we judge him 
to be who is both inclined and apt to communicate 
his pleasure to others, and who is not contented 
with an Object if he cannot feel satisfaction in it in 
common with otliers. Again, ever\' one expects and 
requires from every one else this reference to uni- 
versal communication [of pleasure], as it were from an | 
original compact dictated by humanity itself. Thus, 
doubtless, in the beginning only those things which 
attracted the senses, e.g.^ colours for painting 
oneself (roucou among the Carabs and cinnabar 
among the Iroquois), fiowers, mussel shells, 
beautiful feathers, etc., — but in time beautiful forms 
also {eg. in their canoes, and clothes, etc.), which 
bring with them no gratification, or satisfaction of 
enjoyment — were important in society, and were 
combined with great inlurest. Until at last 
civilisation, having reached its highest point, makes 
out of this almost the main business of refined in- 
clination ; and sensations are only regarded as of 
worth in so far as they can be universally communi- 
cated. Here, although the pleasure which every 
one has in such an object is inconsiderable and in 
itself without any marked interest, yet the Idea of 
its universal communicability increases its worth in 
an almost infinite degree. 

Hut this interest that indirectly attaches to the 
Beautiful through our inclination to society, and 
consequently is empirical, is of no importance for us 
now; because we have only to look to what may 
have a reference, although only Indirectly, to the 
judgment of taste a pnori. For if an interest 
should also be detected as bound up with this form, 




taste would detect for our faculty of judging ^ 
means of passing from sense-enjoyment to moral 
feeling ; and so not only would we be the better 
gutded in employing taste purposively. but there 
would be thus presented a link in the chain of ihe 
human faculties a priori^ on which all legislation 
must depend. We can only say thus much about 
'the empirical interest in objects of taste and in 
taste itself. Since i: Is subservient to inclination, 
however refined the latter m;iy be, it may easily be 
confounded with all the inclinations and passions, 
which attain their greatest variety and highest 
degree in society ; and the interest in the Beautiful, 
if it is grounded tht'rccm, can only furnish a very 
ambiguous transition from the Pleasant to the Good. 
But whether this can or cannot be furthered by 
taste, taken in its purity, is what we now have to 
investigate, i 

§ 42. Of the inteiiectual interest in the Beautiful 

With the best intentions those persons who 
refer all activities, to which their inner natural 
dispositions impel men, to the final purpose of 
humanity, viz., the morally good, have regarded the 
taking an interest in the Beautiful in general as a 
mark of good moral character. But it is not with- 
out reason that they have been contradicted by 
others who rely on experience ; far this shows that 
connoisseurs in taste not only often, but generally, 
are given up to idle, capricious, and mischievous 
passions, and that they could perhaps make less 
claim than others to any superiority of attachment 
to mora! principles. Thus it would seem that the 
feeling for the Beautiful is not only (as actually is 

HIV. 1 1 4a 



^the case) specifically different from the Moral feeling ; 

>ut that the interest which can be bound up with it 
is hardly compatible with moral interest, and cer-i 
tainly has no inner affinity therewith. 

I Now I achnit at once that the interest in the 
Beautiful 0/ Arl (under which 1 include the 
artificial use of natural beauties for adornment and 
so for vanity) furnishes no proof whatever of a 
disposition attached to the morally j;ood or even 
inclined thereto. But on the other hand, 1 maintain 
that to take an immediate inierest in the Beauty of 
Nature (not merely to have taste in judging it) is 
always a mark of a good soul ; and that when this 
interest is habitual it at least indicates a frame of 
mind favourable to the moral feeling, if it is 
voluntarily bound up with the conlemplaiion of 
natureA It is to be rememtxred, however, that I 
here speak strictly of the beautiful y*Drwj of Nature, 
and 1 set aside the charms, that she is wont to' 
combine so abundantly with them ; because, though 
the interest in the latter is indeed immediate, it is 
only empirical.f ^'-' * — ^ / ) 

He who by himself (and without any design of 
communicating his observations to others) regards 
the beautiful figure of a wild flower, a bird, an 
insect, etc., with admiration and love — who would 
not willingly miss it in Nature, although it may 
bring him some damage, who still less wants any 
advantat^c from it — he takes an immediate and also 
an intellectual interest in the beauty of Nature. 
i.e. it is not merely the form of the product of 
nature which pleases him, but its very presence 
pleases him, the charms of sense having no share in 
this pleasure and no purpose whatever being 
combined with it. 





But it is noteworthy that if we secretly deceived 
this lover of the beautiful by planting in the ground 
artificial flowers (which can be manufactured exactly 
like natural ones), or by placing artificially carved 
birds on tlie boughs of trees, and he discovered the 
deceit, the immediate interest that he previously took 
in them would disappear at once ; though, perhaps, 
a different interest, viz. the interest of vanity in 
adorning his chamber with them for the eyes of 
others, would take its place. This thought then must 
accompany our intuition and reflection on beauty, 
viz. that nature has produced it ; and on this alone 
is based the immediate interest that we take in 
it. Otherwise, there remains a mere judgment of 
taste, either devoid of all interest, or bound up 
with a mediate interest, viz. in that it has refer- 
ence to society ; which latter [interest] furnishes 
no certain indications of a morally good disposi- 

This superiority of natural to artificial beauty 
in that it alone arouses an immediate interest, 
although as regards form the former may be sur- 
passed by the latter, harmonises with the refined 
and thorough mental altitude of all men who have 
cultivated their moral feeling. If a man who has 
taste enough to judge of the products of beautiful 
Art with the greatest accuracy and refinement 
willingly leaves a chamber where are to be found 
those beauties that minister to vanity or to any 
social joys, and turns to the beautiful in Nature 
I in order to find, as it were, delight for his spirit 
in a train of thought that he can never completely 
evolve, we will regard this choice of his with 
veneration, and attribute to him a beautiful soul, 
to which no connoisseur or lover [of Art] can laj 



claim on account of the interest he takes in his 
[artistic] objects. — What now is the diiTerence in 
our estimation of these two different kinds of Objects, 
which in the judgment of mere taste it is hard to 
compare in point of superiority ? 

We have a faculty of mere Ksthetical Judgment 
by which we judge forms without the aid of concepts; 
and find a satisfaction in this mere act of judgment ; 
this we make into a rule for ever)'' one, without this 
judgment either being based on or producing any 
interest. — On the other liand, we have also a 
facuhy of intellectual Judgment which determines an 
i2 /r/'flr/ satisfaction for the mere forms of practical 
maxims (so far as they are in themselves qualified 
for universal legislation) ; this we make into a 
law for ever}' one, without our judgment being 
based on any interest whatever, t/iougfi in this case 
il produces such an interest. The pleasure or pain 
in the former judgment is called that of taste, in 
the latter, that of moral feeling. 

But it also interests Reason that the Ideas {for 
which in moral feeling it arouses an immediate 
interest) should have objective reality ; i.e. that 
nature should at least show a trace or give an 
indication that it contains in itself a ground for 
assuming a regular agreement of its products with 
our entirely disinterested satisfaction (which we 
recognise a priori as a law for every one, without 
being able to base it upon proofs). Hence Reason 
must take an interest in ever)' expression on the 
part of nature of an agreement of this kind, 
V Consequently, the mind cannot ponder upon the 
beauty of Nature without finding itself at the same 
time interested therein. liut this interest is akin 
to moral, and he who takes such an interest in the 




beauties of nature can do so only in so far as he 
previously has firmly established his interest in the 
morally good. If, therefore, the beauty of Nature 
interests a man immediately we have reason for 
attributing to him, at least, a basis for a good moral 

It will be said that this account of a-sthetical 
judgments, as akin to the moral feeling, seems far 
too studied to be regarded as the true interpretation 
of that cipher through which Nature speaks to us 
figuratively in her beautiful forms. I However, in the 
first place, this immediate interest in the beautiful 
't'j.l'" is actually not common; but is peculiar to those 
whose mental disposition either has already been 
cultivated in the direction of the good or is emi- 
nently susceptible of such cultivation. In that case 
the analogy between the pure judgment of taste 
which, independently of any interest, causes us to 
feel a satisfaction, and also represents it a priori 
as suitable to humanit)- in general, and the moral 
judgment that does the same thing from concepts 
without any clear, subtle, and premeditated reflec- 
tion — this analogy leads to a similar immediate 
Interest in the objects of the former as in those of 
the latter; only that in the one case the interest 
is free, in the other it is based on objective laws. 
[To this is to be added our admiration for Nature, 
which displays itself in its beautiful products as Art, 
not merely by chance, but as it were designedly, 
in accordance with a regular arrangement, and as 
purposiveness without purpose. This latter, as we 
never meet with it outside ourselves, we naturally 
seek in ourselves ; and, in fact, in that which 
constitutes the ultimate purpose of our being, viz. 
our moral destination. (Of this question as to the 

DtV. 1 1 48 



ground of the possibility of such natural piirpostve- 
ness we shall first speak in the Teleology.) 

It is easy to explain why the satisfaction in the 
pure ^sthetical judgment in the case of beautiful Art 
is not combined with an immediate interest as it is 
in the case of beautiful Nature. For the former is 
either such an imitation of the latter that it reaches 
the point of deception and then produces the same 
effect as natural beauty (for which it is taken) ; or \ 
it is an art obviously directed designedly to our 
satisfaction. In the latter case the satisfaction in the 
product would, it is true, be brought about immedi- 
ately by taste, but it would be only a mediate interest 
in the cause lying at its root, viz. an art that can 
only interest by means of its puqjose and never in 
itself. It will, perhaps, be said that this is also 
the case, if an Object of nature interests us by its 
beauty only so far as it is associated with a moral 
Idea. But it is not the Object itself which im-" 
mediately interests us, but its character in virtue i 
of which it is qualified for such association, which ( 
therefore essentially belongs to it. 

The charms in beautiful Nature, which are so 
often found, as it were, fused with beautiful forms, 
may be referred to modifications either of light 
(colours) or of sound (tones). For these are the only 
sensations that imply not merely a sensible feeling 
but also reflection upon the form of these modifications 
of Sense ; and thus they involve in themselves as 
It were a language by which nature speaks to us, 
which thus seems to have a higher sense. Thus the 
white colour of lilies seems to determine the mind 
to Ideas of innocence; and the seven colours in 
order from the red to the violet seem to suggest the 
Ideas of (i) Sublimity, (2) Intrepidity. (3) Candour, 

(4) .Friendliness, (5) Modesty, (6) Constarfcy, (7) 
TetfJlePness. The song of birds proclaims glad- 
sonieness and contentment with existence. At least 
so we interpret nature, whether it have this design 
or not. But the interest which we here take in 
beauty has only to do with the beauty of Nature ; 
it vanishes altogether as soon as we notice that we 
are deceived and that it is only Art — vanishes so 
completely that taste can no longer find the thing 
beautiful or sight find it charming. What is 
more highly praised by poets than the bewitching and 
beautiful note of the nightingale in a lonely copse 
on a still summer evening by the soft light of the 
moon ? And yet we have instances of a merry host, 
where no such songster was to be found, deceiving 
to their great contentment the guests who were 
staying with him to enjoy the country air, by hiding 
in a bush a mischievous boy who knew how to 
produce this sound exactly like nature (by means of 
a reed or a tube in his mouth). But as soon as we 
are aware that it is a cheat, no one will remain 
long listening to the song which before was countetl 
so charming. And it is just the same with the 
songs of all other birds. It must be Nature or be 
regarded as Nature, if we are to take an immediate 
interest in the Beautiful as such ; and still more is 
this the case if we can require that others should 
take an interest in it too. This happens as a matter 
of fact when we regard as coarse and ignoble the 
mental attitude of those persons who have wo feeling 
for beautiful Nature (for thus we describe a suscep- 
tibility to interest in its contemplation), and who 
confine themselves to eating and drinking — to the 
mere enjoyments of sense. 

Div. 1 i 43 



§43. Of Art in general 

(i). Art is distinguished from Nature, as doing 
(facere) is distinguished from acting or working 
generally {agere), and as the product or result of the 
former is distinguished as work {opus) from the 
working (cffedus) of the latter. 

By right we ought only to describe as Art, 
production through freedom, i.e. through a will 
that places Reason at the basis of its actions. 
For although we like to call the product of bees 
(regularly built cells of wax) a work of art, this is 
only by way of analogy : as soon as we feel that this 
work of theirs is based on no proper rational 
deliberation, we say that it is a product of Nature 
(of instinct), and as Art only ascribe it to their 

If, as sometimes happens, in searching through 
a bog we come upon a bit of shaped wood, we do not 
say: this is a product of Nature, but, of Art. Its 
producing cause has conceived a purpose to which 
the plank owes its form. Elsewhere too we should see 
art in everything w^hich is made so that_a representa- 
tion of it in its^ cause must have preceded_its actual 
existence (as even in the case of the bees), though 
without the effect of it even being capable of being 
thought. But if we call anything absolutely a work 
of art in order to distinguish it from a natural effect, 
we always understand by that a work of man. 

(2). Art regarded as human skill differs from 
science (as can from knovS) as a practical faculty does 
from a theoretical, as Technic does from Theory (as 
mensuration from geometry). And so what we can 
do, as soon as we merely know what ought to be 




done and therefore are sufficiently cognisant of the 
desired effect, is not called Art, Only that which 
a man, even if he knows it completely, may not 
therefore have the skill to accomplish, belongs 
to Art. Camper^ describes verj' exactly how the 
best shoes must be made, but he certainly could 
not make ope.- 

(3). ArLi/\^o dt^fiers from handicraft ; the first is 
called /;rf, the other may be called mercenary. We 
regard the first as if it could only prove purposive 
as play, i.e. as occupation that is pleasant in itself. 
But the second is regarded as if it could only be com- 
pulsorily imposed upon one as work, i.e. as occupa- 
tion which is unpleasant (a truublej in itself, and 
which is only attractive on account of its effect {e.g.^ 
the wage). Whether or not in the grade of the 
professions we ought to count watchmakers as 
artists, but smiths only as handicraftsmen, would 
require another point of view from which to judge 
than that which we are here taking up ; viz. [we 
should have to consider] the proportion of talents 
which must be assumed requisite in these several 
occupations. Whether or not, again, under the so- 
called seven free arts some may be included which 
ought to be classed as sciences, and many that are 
akin rather to handicraft, I shall not here discuss. 
But it is not inexpedient to recall that in all free 
arts there is yet requisite something compulsory, 
or, as it is called, mechanism, without which the 

' [Peter Camper (i7::z>i789), a celebrated iiatur.ilist and com- 
purativc anatomist ; for some years professor at Gruiiingen.} 

- In my country a common man, if you propose lo him siicli a 
problem as that of Columbus with his ej:g, ^ays, tliat is twt art^ it is 
only science. I.e. if we know how, ivc can da it ; and he says the 
same of all ihe pretended arts of jugyleri. On the oilier hand, he 
will not refuse to apply the term art to the performance of a ro)>(s 

Div. I 1 44 



Spirit, which must be free in art and which alone 
inspires the work, would have no body and would 
evaporate altogether; e.g., in poetry there must be 
an accuracy and wealth of language, and also 
prosody and measure. [It is not inexpedient, I say. 
to recall this], for many modern educators believe 
that the best way to produce a free art is to remove 
it from all constraint, and thus to change it from 
work into mere play. 

§ 44. Of beautiful Art 

There is no Science of the Reantiful, but only a 
Kritik of it ; and there is no such thing as beautiful 
Science, but only beautiful Art. For as regards the 
first point, if it could be decided scientifically, i.e. by 
proofs, whether a thing was to be regarded as beauti- 
ful or not, the judgment upon beauty would belong 
to science and would not be a judgnient of taste. 
And as far as the second point is concerned, a 
science which should be beautiful as such is a 
nonentity. For if in such a science we were to ask 
for grounds and proofs, wc would be put off with 
tasteful phrases (bon-mots). — The source of the 
common expression, beautiful science, is without 
doubt nothing else than this, as it has been rightly 
remarked, that for beautiful art in its entire complete- 
ness much science is retjuislte ; e.g. a knowledge of 
ancient languages, a learned familiarity with classical 
authors, history, a knowledge of antiquities, 
etc. And hence these historical sciences, because 
they form the necessary preparation and basis for 
beautiful art, and also partly because under 
them is included the knowledge of the products of 
beautiful art (rhetoric and poetry), have come to 




be called beautiful sciences by a transposition of 

If art which is adequate to the cognition of a 
possible object performs the actions requisite ihcrc- 
for merely in order to make it actual, it is mechanical 
art; but if it has for its immediate design the feeling 
of pleasure, it is called cssthetical art. This is again 
either pieasant or beautifui. It is the first, if its 
purpose is that the pleasure should accompany the 
representations [of the object] regarded as mere 
sensations', it is the second if they are regarded as 
modes of cognition. 

Pleasant arts are those that are directed merely 
to enjoyment. Of this class are all those charming 
arts that can gratify a company at table ; e.g. the 
art of telling stories in an entertaining way, of starl- 
ing the company in frank and lively conversation, of 
raising them by jest and laugh to a certain pitch of 
merriment ; ^ when, as people say, there may be a 
great deal of gossip at the feast, but no one will be 
answerable for what he says, because they are only 
concerned with momentary entertainment, and not 
with any permanent material for reHection or subse- 
quent discussion. (Among these arc also to be 
reckoned the way of arranging the table for enjoy- 
ment, and, at great feasts, the management of the 
music. This latter is a wonderful thing. It is meant 
to dispose to gaiety the minds of the guests, regarded 
solely as a pleasant noise, without any one paying 
the least attention to its composition ; and it favours 
the free conversation of each with his neighbour.) 

' [Kant was accustomed to say the talk .it a dinner table 
should ahvays pass through these three staf^es — narrative, discussion, 
and jest ; and punctitious tn this, as in aJ) else, be is said to liavc 
directed the conver»atioa at his own table accordingly (Wallace's 
Kant, p. 39).] 

DIV. 1 9 45 



Again, to this class belong all games which bring 
with them no further interest than that of making 
the time pass imperceptibly. 

On the other hand, beautiful art is a mode of 
representation which is purposive for itself, and 
which, although devoid of [definite] purpose, yet 
furthers the culture of the mental powers in refer- 
ence to social communication. 

The universal communicability of a pleasure 
carries with it in its very concept that the pleasure 
is not one of enjoyment, from mere sensation, but 
must be derived from reflection ; and thus aesthetical 
an, as the art of beauty, has for standard the 
reflective Judgment and not sensation. 

§ 45. Beautiful Art is an art, in so far as it seems 
like nature 

In a product of beautiful art wc must become 
conscious t hat it is Art and not I N ature ; but yet tfie 
purposiveness m its form must seem to be as free 
from all constraint of arbitrary rules as if it were a 
product of mere nature. On this feeling of freedom 
in the play of our ci^nitive faculties, which must at 
the same time be purposive, rests that pleasure 
which alone is universally communicable, without 
being based on concepts. Nature is beautiful 
because it lobks like Art ; and Art can only be called 
beautiful if we arc conscious of it as Art while yet it 
looks like Nature. 

For whether we are dealing with natural or with 

artificial beauty we can say generally: That is^eauti- 

fttl which pkases in the rnere act of judging it (not 

in the sensation of it, or by means of a concept). 

Now art has always a dehnite design of producing 





something. But if this something were bare sensa- 
tion (something merely subjective), which is to be 
accompanied with pleasure, the product would please 
in the act of judgment only by mediation of sensible 
feeling. And ixgain, if the design were directed 
towards the production of a definite Object, then, 
if this were attained by art, the Object would only 
please by means of concepts. But in both cases the 
art would not please in ih^ mere act of judgifig ; i.e. 
it would not please as beautiful, but as mechanical. 

Hence the purposiveness in the product of beauti- 
ful art, although it is designed, must not seem to be 
designed ; i.e. beautiful art must fool' like nature, 
although we are conscious of it as art. But a 
product of art appears like nature when, although its 
agreement with the rules, according to which alone 
the product can become what it ought to be, \spufu- 
tiliottsiy observed, yet this is not ^rt/;//}///j' apparent; 
[the form of the schools does not obtrude itself]* — it 
shows no trace of the rule having been before the eyes 
of the artist and having fettered his mental powers. 


§ 46. BemUifui Art is t/tc art 0/ genius 

~ G£nius is the talent for natural yift^ which gi ves 
the rule to Art. Since talent, as the innate productive 
faculty of the artist, belongs itself to Nature, we may 
express the matter thus : Genius is the mnate mental 
disposition {ingeniitm) ^/trough which Nature gives 
the rule to Art. 

Whatever may be thought of this definition, 
whether it is merely arbitrary or whether it is 
adequate to the concept that we are accustomed to 
combine with the word genius (which is to be 

1 [Second Edition.] 


DIV. I I 46 



examined in the following paragraphs), we can 
prove already beforehand that according to the 
signification of the word here adopted, beautiful arts 
must necessarily be considered as arts oi genius. 

For every art presupposes rules by means of 
which in the first instance a product, if it is to be 
called artistic, is represented as possible. But the , 
concept of beautiful art does not permit the ! 
judgment upon the beauty of a product to be 
derived from any rule, which has a coiucpt as its 
determining ground, and therefore has at its basis a' 
concept of the way in which ihc product is possible. 
Therefore , beautiful art cannot itself de vise the rul e 
a ccording; to which it can bring about iLs product. 
But since at the same time a product caft never be 
called Art without some precedent rule, Nature in 
the subject must (by the harmony of its faculties) 
give the rule to Art; i,e. beautiful Art is only possible 
as a product of Genius. 

We thus see (i) that genius is a ialeni for 
producing that for which no definite rule can be 
given ; it is not a mer e aptitude for what can be 
learnt by a rule. Hence orlHnaliiy must be its 
first pr opert y. (2) But since it also can produce 
originitl nonsense, its products must be models, i.e. 
excmpiaiy \ and they consequently ought not to 
.spring from imitation, but must serve as a standard 
or rule of judgment for othe rs. (3) I t cannot 
describe ori ndicate scientifically how it bnngs about 
i„t^s_£roducts, but it gives the rule just as nature 
does. Hence the author of a product for which he 
is indebted to his genius does not know himself 
how he has come by his Ideas ; and he has not the 
power to devise the like at pleasure or in accordance 
with u plan, and to communicate it to others in 




precepts that will enable them to produce similar 
products. ( H ence it is probable that the word 
genius is derived from genius^ that peculiar guiding 
and guardian spirit given to a man at his birth, from 
whose suggestion these original Ideas proceed.) 
(4) Nature by the medium of genius does not 
prescribe rules to Science, but to Art ; and to it 
only in so far as it is to be beautiful Art. 

§ 47. Elucidaiion and conjii'jnation of the above 
explanation of Genius 

Every one is agreed that genius is entirely 
opposed to the spirit of imitation. Now since 
learning is nothing but imitation, it follows that 
the greatest ability and teachableness (capacity) 
regarded tptd teachableness, cannot avail for genius. 
Even if a man thinks or composes for himself and 
does not merely take in what others have taught, 
even if he discovers many things in art and science, 
this is not the right ground for catling such a 
(perhaps great) head, a genius (as opposed to him 
who because he can only learn and imitate is called 
a shattoiv-pate). For even these things could be 
learned, they lie in the natural path of him who 
investigates and reflects according to rules ; and 
they do not differ specifically from what can be 
acquired by industry through imitation. Thus we 
can readily learn all that A^exvton has set forth in his 
immortal work on the Principles of Natural 
Philosophy, however great a head was required to 
discover it ; but we cannot learn to write spirited 
poetry, however express may be the precepts of the 
art and however excellent its models. The reason 
is that Newton could make all his steps, from the 

DIV. I 1 47 



first dements of geometry to his own j^reat and 
profound discoveries, intuitively plain and definite 
as regards consequence, not only to himself but to 
every one else. But a Homer or a Wieland c^wx^ox. 
show how his Ideas, so rich in fancy and yet so full 
of thought, come together in his head, simply 
because he does not know and therefore cannot 
teach others. I n Science then the greatest 
discoverer only ditTers in degree from his laborious 
imitator and pupil ; but he differs specifically from 
him whom Nature has gifted for beautiful Art. 
And in this there is no depreciation of those great 
men to whom the human race owes so much 
gratitude, as compared with nature's favourites in 
respect of the talent for beautiful art. For in the 
fact that the former talent is directed to the ever- 
advancing greater perfection of knowledge and 
every advantage depending on it, and at the same 
lime to the imparting this same knowledge to 
others — in this it has a great superiority over [the 
talent of] those who deserve the honour of being 
called geniuses. For art stands still at a certain 
point ; a boundary is set to it beyond which it 
cannot go, which presumably has been reached long 
ago and cannot be extended further. Again, 
artistic skill cannot be communicated ; it is imparted 
to every artist immediately by the hand of nature ; 
and so it dies with him, until nature endows another 
in the same way. so that he only needs an example 
in order to put in operation in a similar fashion the 
talent of which he is conscious. 

If now it is a natural gift which must prescribe 
its rule to art (as beautiful an), of what kind is this 
rule ? It cannot be reducetl to a formula and serve 
as a precept, for then the judgment upon the 




beautiful wouM be determinable according to 
concepts; but the rule must be abstracted froiii the 
fact, i.e. from the product, on which others may try 
their own talent by using it as a model, not to be 
copied but to be iinitaied. How this is possible is 
hiird to explain. The Ideas of the artist excite like 
Ideas in his pupils if nature has endowed them with 
a like proportion of their mental powers. Hence 
models of beautiful art are the only means of 
handing down these Ideas to posterity. This 
cannot be done by mere descriptions, especially not 
in the case of the arts of speech, and in this latter 
classical models are only to be had in the old dead 
languages, now preserved only as ' ' the learned 

Although mechanical and beautiful art are very 
different, the first being a mere art of industry and 
learning and the second of genius, yet there is no 
beautiful art in which there is not a mechanical 
element that can be comprehended by rules and 
followed accordingly, and in which therefore there 
must be something scholastic as an essential 
condition. For [in every art] some purpose must 
be conceived ; otherwise we could not ascribe the 
product to art at all. it would be a mere product of 
chance. But in order to accomplish a purpose, 
definite rules from which we cannot dispense 
ourselves are requisite. Now since the originality 
of the talent constitutes an essential (though not the 
only) element in the character of genius, shallow 
heads believe that they cannot better show them- 
selves to be full-blown geniuses than by throwing 
off" the constraint of all rules ; they believe, in effect, 
that one could make a braver show on the back of 
a wild horse than on the back of a trained animaL 

UIV. I 9 4S 



Genius can only furnish rich material for products 
of beautiful art ; its execution and its form require 
talent cultivated in the schools, in order to make 
such a use of this material as will stand examination 
by the Judgment. But it is quite ridiculous for a 
man to speak and decide like a genius in things 
which require the most careful invest igat i gn__hy- 
Rcason. One does not know whether to laugh 

more at the impostor who spreads such a mist round 
him that wc cannot clearly use our Judgment and 
so use our Imagination the more, or at the public 
which naively imagines that his inability to cognise 
clearly and to comprehend the masterpiece before 
him arises from new truths crowding in on him in 
such abundance that details (duly weighed definitions 
and accurate examination of fundamental proposi- 
tions) seem but clumsy work. 

§ 48. Of the relation of Genius to Taste 

Y or judging of beautiful objects as such taste 
is requisite; but for beautiful art, i.e. for \.\\& prodtu- 
lion of such objects, genius is requisite. 

If we consider genius as the talent for beautiful 
art (whicli the special meaning of the word implies) 
and in this point of view analyse it into the faculties 
which must concur to constitute such a talent, it is 
necessary- in the first instance to determine exactly 
the difference between natural beauty, the judging 
of which requires only Taste, and artificial beauty, 
the (jossibility of which (to which reference must be 
made in judging such an object) requires Genius. 

A natural beauty is a beautiful t/tittg ; artificial 
beauty is a beautiful representation of a thing. 

In order to judge of a natural beauty as such 





V 1 need not have beforehand a concept of what sort 
' of thing the object is to be ; i,€, I need not know 
its material purposiveness (the purpose), but its 
mere form pleases by itself in the act of judging" 
it without any knowledge of the purjiose. But if 
the object is given as a product of art, and as such 
\\% to be declared beautiful, then, because art always 
(Supposes a purpose in the cause (and its causality), 
' there must be at bottom in the first instance a 
concept of what the thing is to be. And as the 
agreement of the manifold in a thing with its inner 
destination, its purpose, constitutes the [jerfcction 
of the thing, it follows that in judging of artificial 
beauty the perfection of the thing must be taken 
into account ; but in judging of natural beauty 
(as sncii) there is no question at all about this. — 
It is tiTie that in judging of objects of nature, especi- 
ally objects endowed with life, eg. a man or a horse, 
their objective purposiveness also is commonly taken 
into consideration in judging of their beauty; but 
then the judgment is no longer purely a;sthetical, 
i.e, a mere judgment of taste. Nature is no longer 
judged inasmuch as it appears like art, but in so 
far as it is actual (although superhuman) art ; and 
the teleological judgment serves as the basis and 
condition of the resthetical, as a condition to which 
the latter must have respect. In such a case, e.g. if 
it is said *' that is a beautiful woman," we thirtk 
nothing else than this : nature represents in her 
figure the purposes in view in the shape of a woman's 
figure. For we must look beyond the mere form to 
a concept, if the object is to be thought in such a 
way by means of a logically conditioned ^esthetical 

Beautiful art shows its superiority in this, that 



PIV. I I 48 



it describes as beautiful things which may be in 
nature ugly or displeasing.* The Furies, diseases, 
the devastations of war, etc., may [even regarded 
as calamitous].'^ be described as very beautiful, as 
they are represented in a picture. There is only 
one kind of ugliness which cannot be represented 
in accordance with nature, without destroying all 
arsthetica! satisfaction and consequently artificial 
beauty ; viz. that which excites disgust. For in 
this singular sensation, which rests on mere imagina- 
tion, the object is represented as it were obtruding 
itself for our enjoyment while we strive against it 
with all our might. And the artistic representation 
of the object is no longer distinguished from the 
nature of the object itself in our sensation, and thus 
it is impossible that it can be regarded as beautiful. 
The art of sculpture again^ because tn its products 
art is almost interchangeable with nature, excludes 
from its creations the immediate representation of 
ugly objects; e.g. it represents death by a beautiful 
lius, the warlike spirit by Mars, and permits 
such things] to be represented only by an 
jry or attribute^ that has a pleasing effect, 
and thus only indirectly by the aid of the interpret- 
ation of Reason, and not for the mere asthetical 

' [Cf. Aristotle's Poetics, c iv. p. 1448 b: i yip nvrh. KirrrjfHjt 
Spuiuv, TOt'Tcav Tiit ((KfiKif Titt /ittAurra r^Kptfimftiva^ \tiipofuv Otnt- 
povVTts olov Otjpirav T* fuifufia.^ Tuv aTtfiordTtirti' kuI vtKpuv. Cf. also 
fibftoric, I. 1 1, p. 1371 b ; and Burke on ihc Sublime ami BtauH/uf, 
Part I. § 16. Bvitcau {L'art poitiqttt^ chant 3), makes a similar ob- 
servation : 

•' 11 nest point de serpent ni de monsire ndicux 
Qui, par Tan imiii*, ne puisse plairc aux yeux. 
D'an pinceau di51icat Tartifice agrdabic 
Du plus afTreux objet fait un objet aimable."] 

* [Second Edition.] '^ [CC p. 199 iVr^s.] 




So much for the beautiful representation of an 
object, which is propedy only the form of the pre- 
sentation of a concept, by means of which this latter 
is communicated universally. — But to give this 
form to the product of beautiful art, mere taste is 
requisite. By taste the artist estimates his work 
after he has exercised and corrected it by manifold 
examples from art or nature ; and after many, often 
toilsome, attempts to content himself he finds that 
form which satisfies him. Hence this form is not, 
as it were, a thing of inspiration or the result of ^ 
free swing of the mental powers, but of a slow and 
even painful process of improvement, by which he 
seeks to render it adequate to his thought, without 
detriment to the freedon> of the play of his powers. 

But taste is merely a judging and not a produc- 
tive faculty ; and what is appropriate to it is therefore 
not a work of beautiful art. It can only be a product 
belonging to useful and mechanical art or even to 
science, produced according to definite rules that 
can be learned and must be exactly followed. Hut 
the pleasing form that is given to it is only the 
vehicle of communication, and a mode, as it were, 
of presenting it, in respect of which wc remain free 
to a certain extent, although it is combined with 
a definite purpose. Thus we desire that table 
appointments, a moral treatise, even a sermon, 
should have in themselves this form of beautiful 
art, without it seeming to be sought : but we do 
not therefore call these things works of beautiful art. 
Under the latter class are reckoned a poem, a piece 
of music, a picture gallery, etc. ; and in some works 
of this kind asserted to be works of beautiful art we 
find genius without taste, while in others we find 
taste without genius. 

iJjv. I i 49 



§ 49. 0/ the faculties 0/ the mind that constitute 

We say of certain products of which we expect 
that they should at least in part appear as beautiful 
art, they are without spirit^; although we find nothing 
to blame in them on the score of taste. A poem 
may be very neat and elegant, but without spirit. 
A history* may be exact and well arranged, but 
without spirit. A festal discourse may be solid and 
at the ' same time elaborate, but without spirit. 
Conversation is often not devoid of entertainment, 
but it is without spirit : even of a woman we say 
that she is pretty, an agreeable talker, and courteous, 
but without spirit. What then do we mean by 
spirit ? 

Spirit, in an zcsthetlcal sense, is the name given 
to the animating;, principle of the mind. But that 
by means of which this principle animates the soul, 
the material which it applies to that [f)urpose], is what 
puts the mental powers purposivcly into swing, i.e. 
into such a play as maintains itself and strengthens 
the mental powers in their exercise. 

Now I maintain that this principle is no other 
than the faculty of presenting irstheticai Ideas. And 
by an a^sthetical Idea I understand that representation 
of the JjuagiiOation which oc casions much thought, 
without. howcvcrTany dehnite thought, z>. any concept. 

bemg capab le of bein^ a ^ adequate to i t ; it conse- 
quently cannotbe completely compassed and made 
intelligible by language. — We easily see that it is 
the counterpart (pendant) of a rat ionai Idea ; which 

' [In English we would rather say ** without souV ; but I prefer 
to transLite Geiit consistently by spirit, to avoid the confusion of it 
with Stelt.^ 




conversely is a concept to which no iyttntiion (or 
representation of the Imagination) can be adequate. 

The Imagination (a s a productive faculty of 
cognition) is very powerful in creating another 
nature, as it were, out of the material that actual 
nature gives it. We entertain ourselves with it 
when experience becomes too commonplace, and 
by it we remould experience, always indeed in 
accordance with analogical laws, but yet also in 
accordance with principles which occupy a higher 
place in Reason (laws loo which arc just as natural 
to us as those by which Understanding comprehends 
empirical nature). Thus we feel our freedom from 
the law of association (which attaches to the em- 
pirical employment of Imagination), so that the 
material supplied to us by nature in accordance with 
this law can be worked up into something different 
which surpasses nature. 

Such representations of the Imagination we may 
call Ideas, partly because they at least strive after 
something which lies beyond the bounds of experi- 
ence, and so seek to approximate to a presentation of 
concepts of Reason (intellectual Ideas), thus giving 
to the latter the appearance of objective reality, — 
but especially because no concept can be fully ade- 
quate to them as internal Intuitions. The poet ven- 
tures to realise to sense, rational Ideas of invisible 
beings, the kingdom of the blessed, hell, eternity, 
creation, etc. ; or even if he deals with things of 
which there are examples in e.Kperience, — e.g. death, 
envy and all vices, also love, fame, and the like, — 
he tries, by means of Imagination, which emulate s 
the play o f Rea son in its quest after a maximum, 
to go beyond the limits of experience and to p resent 
them to Sense with a completeness nf whirh \\\exp 

niv. 1 1 49 



is no example, ill nature. This is proj>erI:ly attaches 
««^V»*i the art of the poet, in which the faculty of employed. 
tsiiaV'c Ideas can manifest itself in its entire strength. in.,hi" 
lut this faculty, c onsicJercd in itself, is properly only a 
talent (of the Iniagmation) . 

If now we place under a concept a representa- 
tion of the Imagination belonging to its presentation, 
but which occasions in itself more thought than can 
ever be comprehended in a definite concept, and 
which consequently aesthetically enlarges the con- 
cept itself in an unbounded fashion, the Imagination 
is here creative, and it brings the faculty of intel- 
lectual Ideas (the Reason) into movement ; i.e. by 
a representation more thought (which indeed belongs 
to the concept of the object) is occasioned than can 
in it be grasped or made clear. * 

Those forms which do not constitute the presenta -^ 
tion of a ^iven concept itif «;lf buf 'inly, -'^ ^ppr??^' i - 
mate representations of the Imajjfination. express the 
c onsequences bound up with it and its relat ionship 
t o other concepts, are called (a^sthetJcaU atirihuics of 
an ob ject, who se concept as a rational Idea cannot 
be adequately presented. Thus Jupiter's eagle wi th 
t he lightning in its cl aws is an attribute of th e 
mighty k ing of heaven, as the peacoclc is of his 
magnific ent que^n. Thev do not, like Joirual aifri- 
btdes. represent what lies Jn our concepts of the 
s ublimity a nd majesty of creation, but something 
different, \vhich gives occasion to the Imagination jo 
s pread itself over a number of kindred represe nta- 
tions, that arouse more thought than can be expresse d 
in a concept detfrminpd by words . They furnish 

an (eslheiical Idea , which for that rational Idea takes 
the place of lopflcal ]:)resentation ; and thus as their 

proper office t hey enliven the mind by opening out 




conversely'ospeci into an illimitable field of kindred 
represerUations. But beautiful art does this not only 
"\» X i r ^ase of painting or sculpture (in whifch the 
term "attribute" is commonly employed): f)oetry 
and rhetoric also get the spirit that animates their 
works simply from the aesihetical attributes of the 
object, which accompany the logical and stimulate 
the Imagination, so that it thinks more by their aid, 
although in an undeveloped way, than could be com- 
prehended in a concept and therefore in a definite 
form of words. — For the sake of brevity I must 
limit myself to a few examples only. 

When the great King' in one of his poei 
expresses himself as follows: 

" Oui, finissons sans trouble et mourons s.in5 regrets, 
Kn laissniii I'univers combk^ dc nos bienfaits. 
Ainsi I'astre du jour au buul de sa carrittrc, 
K^pand sur I'horizon une douce lumilTC ; 
Kt les dcrnicrs rayons qu'll danlc dans Ics airs, 
Sont Ics dcrniers soupire qu'il donne h I'univers ; "' 

he quickens his rational Idea of a cosmopolitan 
disposition at the end of life by an attribute which 
the Imagination (in remembering all the pleasures of 
a beautiful summer day that are recalled at its close 
by a serene evening) associates with that representa- 
tion, and which excites a number of sensations and 
secondary representations for which no expression 
is found. On the other hand, an intellectual concept 
may ser\'e conversely as an attribute for a represent- 
ation of sense and so can quicken this latter by 
means of the Idea of the supersensible ; but only by 

1 [Bami quotes these lines as occurring in one of rredcrick the 
Creai's French poems : " Epftre au mardchal Keith, sur les vatnes 
terreursde la mort ct les frayeurs d'une autre vie ;" but I have not 
been able to verily his reference. Kant here translates tliem into 

DIT. 1 ff 49 


the ^sthetical [element], that subjectively attaches 
to the concept of the latter, being here employed. 
Thus, for example, a certain poet ' says, in his 
de^ription of a beautiful morning: 

"The sun arose 
As calm frum virtue springs." 

The consciousness of virtue, if we substitute it in 
our thoughts for a virtuous man, diffuses in the mind 
a multitude of sublime and restful feelings and a 
boundless prospect of a joyful future, to which no 
expression that is measured by a definite concept 
completely attains.^ 

In a word the ^nesthetical Idea is a representation 
of the Imagination associated with a given concept, 
which is bound up with such a multiplicity of partial 
representations in its free employment, that for it no 
expression marking a definite concept can be found ; 
and such a representation, therefore, adds to a 
concept much ineffable thought, the feeling of which 
quickens the cognitive faculties, and with language, 
which is the mere letter, binds up spirit also. 

The mental powers, therefore, whose union (in a> 
certain relation) constitutes genius are Imagination 
and Understanding. In the employment of the 
Imagination for cognition it submits to the constraint 
of the Understanding and is subject to the limitation 

' [I havq not been able to identify this poet.] 

* i'crbaps nothing more sublime was ever said and no sublimcr 
thought ever expressed than the famous inscription on the Temple of 
his (Mother Saturt) : " I ani all that is and that was and that shall 
be, and no mortal h.ilh lifted my veil." Segnrr availed liimself of 
this Idea in a sugg/siive vifinelle prefixed to his Natural Philosophy, 
in order to inspire beforehand the pupil whom he was about to lead 
into that temple with a holy awe, which should di&posv his mind to 
Rcrious .mention. [J. A. dc Scgner (1704-1777) was Professor of 
Natural Philosophy at Gtittingcn^ and the author of se\-eral scientific 
works of repute] 




of being conformable to the concopi of the latter. 
On the contrar)', in an ^sthetical point of view it is 
free to furnish unsought, over and above that agree- 
ment with a concept, abundance of undeveloped 
material for the Understanding ; to which the 
Understanding paid no regard in its concept, but 
which it applies, though not objectively for cogni- 
tion, yet subjectively to quicken the cognitive ix>wers 
and therefore also indirectly to cognitions. Thus 
genius properly consists in the happy relation 
[between these faculties], which no science can teach 
and no industry can learn, by which Ideas are found 
for a given concept ; and on the other hand, we thus 
find for these Ideas the expression, by means of 
which the subjective state of mind brought about by 
them, as an accompaniment of the concept, can be 
communicated to others. The latter talent is pro- 
perly speaking what is called spirit ; for to express 
the ineffable element in the state of mind implied by 
a certain representation and to make it universally 
communicable — whether the expression be in speech 
or painting or statuar)' — this requires a faculty of 
seizing the quickly passing play of Imagination and 
of unifying it in a concept (which is even on that 
account original and discloses a new rule that could 
not have been inferred from any preceding principles 
or examples), that can be communicated without any 
constraint [of rules].' 

If after this analysis we look back to the explana- 
tion given above of what is called genius, we find : 
first, that it is a talent for Art ; not for Science, in 
which clearly known rules must go beforehand and 
determine the procedure. Secondly, as an artistic 
^ [Second Edition.] 

uiv. 1 1 49 



talent it presupposes a definite concept of the product, 
as the purpose, and therefore Understanding; but 
it also presupposes a representation (although an 
indeterminate one) of the material, i.e. of the in- 
tuition, for the presentment of this concept ; and, 
therefore, a relation between the Imagination and 
the Understanding. Thirdly, it shows itself not so 
much in the accomplishment of the proposed pur- 
pose in a presentment of a definite concept, as in the 
enunciation or expression of lestheiical Ideas, which 
contain abundant material for that very design ; and 
consequently it represents the Imagination as free 
from all guidance of rules and yet as purposive in 
reference to the presentment of the given concept. 
Finally, in i\\^ fourth place, the unsought undesigned 
subjective purposiveness in the free accordance of 
the Imagination with the legality of the Understand- 
ing presupposes such a proportion and disposition 
of these faculties as no following of rules, whether 
of science or oi mechanical imitation, can bring 
about, but which only the nature of the subject can 

In accordance with these suppositions genius is 
the exemplary originality of the natural gifts of a 
subject in the free employment off his cognitive 
faculties. In this way the product of a genius (as 
regards what is to be ascribed to genius and not to 
possible learning or schooling) is an example, not 
to be imitated (for then that which in it Is genius 
and constitutes the spirit of the work would be lost), 
but to be followed, by another genius ; whom it 
awakens to a feeling of his own originality and 
whom it stirs so to exercise his art in freedom from 
the constraint of rules, that thereby a new rule is 
gained for art, and thus his talent shows itself to be 




exemplary. But because a genius is a favourite of 
nature and must be regarded by us as a rare pheno- 
menon, his example produces for other good heads 
a school, i.e. a methodical system of teaching accord- 
ing to rules, so far as these can be derived from the 
peculiarities of the products of his spirit. For such 
persons beautiful art is so far imitation, to which 
nature through the medium of a genius supplied 
the rule. 

But this imitation becomes a n\^x^ aping, ifthe 
scholar copies everything down to the deformities, 
which the genius must have let pass only because 
he could not well remove them without weakening 
his Idea. This mental characterislic is meritorious 
only in the case of a genius. A certain audacity in 
expression — and in general many a departure from 
common rules — becomes him well, but it is in no way 
worthy of imitation ; it always remains a fault in 
itself which we must seek to remove, though the 
genius is as it were privileged to commit it, because 
the inimitable rush of his spirit would suffer from 
over-anxious carefulness. Mannerism is another 
kind of aping, viz. o{ mQr&peat/ian'/y (originality) in 
general ; by which a man separates himself as far as 
possible from imitators, without however possessing 
the talent to he at the same time exetnpiary, — 
There are indeed in general two ways (modi) in 
which such a man may put together his notions of 
expressing himself; theoneiscalleda//WH«^r(w(7f/«j 
(esiiieticns), the other a mef/iod(modus iogicus). They 
differ in this, that the former hiis no other standard 
than the^f//«^ of unity in the presentment, but the 
latter follows definite principles ; hence the former 
alone avails for beautiful art. But an artistic pro- 
duct is said to show mannerism only when the 




exposition of the artist's Idea \s founded on its ver)' 
singularity, and is not made appropriate to the Idea 
itself. The ostentatious (pr^cietix), contorted, and 
affected [mEuiner, adopted] to differentiate oneself 
from ordinary persons (though devoid of spirit) is 
like the behaviour of a man of whom we say, that 
he hears himself talk, or who stands and moves 
about as if he were on a stage in order to be stared 
at; this always betrays a bungler. 

§ 50. Of the combination of Taste witk Genius in 
the products of beautiful Art 

To ask whether it is more important for the 
things of beautiful art that Genius or Taste should 
be displayed, is the same as to ask whether in it 
more depends on Imagination or on Judgment. 
Now, since in respect of the first an art is rather 
said to be full of spirit, but only deserves to be 
called a beautiful art on account of the second ; 
this latter is at least, as its indispensable condition 
(conditio sine qua non), the most important thing 
to which one has to look in the judging of art as 
beautiful art Abundance and originality of Ideas 
are less necessary to beauty than the accordance 
of the Imagination in its freedom with the conformity 
to law of the Understanding. For all the abundance 
of the former produces in lawless freedom nothing 
but nonsense; on the other hand, the Judgment 
is the faculty by which it is adjusted to the 

Taste, like the judgment in general, is the 
discipline (or training) of Genius ; it clips its wings, 
it makes it cultured and polished ; but, at the same 
time, it gives guidance as to where and how far 



r ART I 

it may extend itself, if it is to remain purposive. 
And while it brings clearness and order into the 
multitude of the thoughts [of genius], it makes the 
Ideas susceptible of being permanendy and, at the 
same time, universally assented to, and capable of 
being followed by others, and of an ever-progressive 
culture. If, then, in the conflict of these two properties 
in a product something must be sacrificed, it should 
be rather on the side of genius ; and the Judgment, 
which in the things of beautiful art gives its decision 
from its own proper principles, will rather sacrifice 
the freedom and wealth of the Imagination than 
permit anything prejudicial to the Understanding. 

For beautiful art, therefore, Imagination, Under- 
standings Spirit, and Taste are requisite.* 

§51. Of the division of t/te beautiful arts 

We may describe beauty in general (whether 
natural or artificial) as the expression of a;sthetical 
Ideas ; only that in beautiful Art this Idea must 
be occasioned by a concept of the Object ; whilst 
in beautiful Nature the mere reflection upon a 
given intuition, without any concept of what the 
object is to be, is sufficient for the awakening and 
communicating of the Idea of which that Object 
is regarded as the expression. 

If, then, we wish to make a division of the 

* The Ihrcc former faculties arc unitcf m the first instance by 
mcfins of the fourth. Hume giveii us to understund in his History 
of Eng{'»Hd ^\?iX although the English arc inferior in their productions 
10 no people in the world as ree:nrds the evidences they display of 
the three former properties, separaicly considered, yet they must be 
put after tlicir neighbours the French as regards tliui which unites 
these properties. [In his Obumaihns on tht ftaiuW/ul and Sublime^ 
% iv. iub init., Kant remarks thai the Knglish have the keener sense 
of the sublimcy the French of the b<autiful.\ 

DIV. I I 51 



beautiful arts, we cannot choose a n\ore convenient 
principle, at least tentatively, than the analogy of 
art with the mode of expression of which men 
avail themselves in speech, in order to communicate 
to one another as pcrfecily as possible not merely 
their concepts but also their sensations.^ — This is 
done by word, deporimeni, and ione (articulation, 
gesticulation, and modulation). It is only by the 
combination of these three kinds of expression that 
communication between the speaker [and his hearers] 
can be complete. For thus thought, intuition, and 
sensation are transmitted to others simultaneously 
and conjointly. 

There are, therefore, only three kinds of beautiful 
arts ; the arts of speech^ the formalive arts, and the 
art of the play of scnsatwiis (as external sensible 
impressions). Wc may also arrange a division by 
dichotomy ; thus beautiful art may be divided 
into the art of expression of thoughts and of in- 
tuitions ; and these further subdivided in accordance 
with their form or their matter (sensation). But 
this would appear to be too abstract, and not so 
accordant with ordinary concepts. 

(i) The arts of SPEECH are rhetoric and poetry. 
R/tetoric is the art of carrying on a serious business 
of the Understanding as if it were a free play of 
the Imagination ; poetry, the art of conducting a 
free play of the Imagination as if it were a serious 
business of the Understanding. 

The orator, then, promises a serious business, 
and in order to entertain his audience conducts it 
as if it were a mere play with Ideas. The poet 

^ The reader is not to judge this scheme for a possible division 
of the beautiful arts as a dclibcriite theor)-. It is only one of various 
atlempts which wc may .aiid oujjlit to devise. 



PA»T 1 

merely promises an entertaining play with Itleas, 
and yet it has the same effect upon the Under- 
standing as if he had only intended to carry on 
its business. The combination and harmony of 
both cognitive faculties, Sensibility and Under- 
standing, winch cannot dispense with one another, 
but which yet cannot well be united without con- 
straint and mutual prejudice, must appear to be un- 
designed and so to be brought about by themselves : 
otherwise it is not beautiful art Hence, all that 
is studied and anxious must be avoided in it, for 
beautiful art must be free art in a double sense. 
It is not a work like a mercenary employment the 
greatness of which can be judged according to a 
definite standard, which can be attained or paid 
for ; and again, though the mind is here occupied, 
it feels itself thus contented and aroused, without 
looking to any other purpose (independently of 

The orator therefore gives something which he 
does not promise, viz. an entertaining play of the 
Imagination ; but he also fails to supply what he 
did promise, which is indeed his announced busi- 
ness, viz. the purposive occupation of the Under- 
standing. On the other hand, the poet promises 
little and announces a mere play with Ideas ; but 
he supplies something which is worth occupying 
ourselves with, because he provides in this play 
food for the Understanding, and by the aid of 
Imagination gives life to his concepts. [Thus the 
orator on the whole gives less, the poet more, than 
he promises.]' 

{2) The FORMATIVE arts, or those by which ex- 
pression is found for Ideas in sensible intuition (not 
' [Second Edition.] 

DIV. I • 51 



by representations of mere Imagination that are 
aroused by words), are either arts of sensible truth or 
of sensible illusion. The former is called Plastic, the 
latter Painlin^. Both express Ideas by figures in 
space; the former makes figures cognisable by two 
senses, sight and touch (although not by the latter 
as far as beauty is concerned) ; the latter only by 
one. the first of these. The a;sthetical Idea (the 
archetype or original image) is lundamental for both 
in the Imagination, but the figure which expresses 
this (the cctype or copy) is either given in its 
bodily extension (as the object itself exists), or as it 
paints itself on the eye (according to its appearance 
when projected on a flat surface). In the first case 
the condition given to reflection may be either the 
reference to an actual purpose or only the semblance 
of it. 

To Plasiict the first kind of beautiful forniatlve 
Art. belong Smlpturc and Architecture. '\)\k^ first 
presents corporeally concepts of things, as they 
might have existed in nature (though as beautiful art 
it has regard to a;sthetical purposivenesS). The 
second is the art of presenting concepts of things 
that are possible only through Art, and whose form 
has for its determining ground not nature but an 
arbitrary purpose, with the view of presenting them 
with jesthetical purposiveness. In the latter the 
chief point is a certain use of the artistic object, by 
which condition the arsthctical Ideas are limited. 
In the former the main design is the vnQT^ expression 
of aesthetical Ideas. Thus statues of men, gods, 
animals, etc., are of the first kind ; but temples. 
splendid buildings for public assemblies, even 
dwelling-houses, triumphal arches, columns, mau- 
soleums, and the like, erected in honourable remem- 




brance, belong to Architecture. Indeed all hous( 
furniture (upholsterer's work and such like things 
which are for use) may be reckoned under this art ; 
because the suitability of a product for a certain use is 
the essential thing in an architectttrai work. On the 
other hand, a mere//Vr^ of sculpture, which is simply 
made for show and which is to please in itself, is as 
a corporeal presentation a mere imitation of nature, 
though with a reference to aesthetical Ideas ; in it 
sensible tnith is not to be carried so far that the 
product ceases to look like art and looks like a pro- 
duct of the elective will. 

Painting, as the second kind of formative art, 
which presents Ascnsi/t/e illusion artificially combined 
with Ideas, I would divide into the art of the 
beautiful depicting of nature and that of the beautiful 
arrangement of its i>roducls. The first is painting 
proper, the second is the art of landscape gardening. 
The first gives only the illusory appearance of 
corporeal extension ; the second gives this in 
accordance with truth, but only the appearance of 
utility and availableness for other purposes than the 
mere play of the Imagination in the contemplation 
of its forms.^ This latter is nothing else than the 

• That landscape gai'dening may be regarded as a species of 
the art of painting, althouRli it presents its fonns corporeally, scctns 
strange But since it actually takes its forms from nature (trees, 
shrubs, grasses, and flowers from foiest and field — ^al least in the first 
instance), and so far is not an art like Plastic ; and since it also has 
no concept of the object and its purpose (as in Architecture) con- 
ditioning Us arrangements, but involves merely the free play of the 
linaj^ination in contemplation,- — it so far agrees with mere ar^thclical 
painting which has no definite theme (which arranges sky, land, and 
water, so as to entertain us by means of light and shade only). — In 
general the reader is only to judxe of this as an attempt to combine 
the beautiful arts under one principle, vii. that of the expression of 
icsthetical Ideas (according co the analog)' of speech), and not lo 
regard it as a definitive analysis of ihctn. 

ntv. 1 i SI 



ornamentation of the soil with a variety of those 
ihinj^s (grasses, flowers, shrubs, trees, even ponds, 
hillocks, and dells) which nature presents to an 
observer, only arranged differently and in conformity 
with certain Ideas. But. again, the beautiful arrange- 
ment of corporeal things is only apparent to the eye, 
like painting; the sense of touch cannot supply any 
intuitive presentation of such a form. Under paint- 
ing in the wide sense 1 wouM reckon the decoration 
of rooms by the aid of tapestry, bric-a-brac, and all 
beautiful furniture which is merely available to be 
looked at : and the same may be said of the art of 
tasteful dressing (with rings, snuff-boxes, etc.). For 
a bed of various Howers, a rooin filled with various 
ornaments (including under this head even ladies' 
finery), make at a f^te a kind of picture ; which, like 
pictures properly so called (that are not intended to 
teach either historj- or natural science), has in view 
merely the entertainment of the Imagination in free 
play with Ideas, and the occupation of the icsthetical 
Judgment without any definite purpose. The 
detailed work in all this decoration may be quite 
distinct in the different cases and may require 
very different artists ; but the judgment of taste 
upon whatever is beautiful in these various arts is 
always determined in the same way : viz. it only 
judges the forms (without any reference to a 
purpose) as they present themselves to the eye 
cither singly or in combination, according to the 
effect they produce upon the Imagination. — But 
that formative art may be compared (by analogy) 
with deportment in speech is justified by the fact 
that the spirit of the artist supplies by these figures 
a bodily expression to his thought and its mode, and 
makes the thing itself as it were speak in mimic 




language. This is a very common play of our 
fancy, which attributes to lifeless things a spirit 
suitable to their form by which they speak to us. 

(5) The art of the beautiful i'lay of sensa- 
tions (externally produced), which admits at the 
same time of universal communication, can be con- 
cerned with nothing else than the proportion of the 
different degrees of the disposition (tension) of the 
sense, to which the sensation belongs, i.e. with its tone. 
In this far-reaching signification of the word it may 
be divided into the artistic play of the sensations of 
hearing and sight, i.e. into Music and the Aft of 
colour, — it is noteworthy that these two senses, 
besides their susceptibility for impressions so far as 
these are needed to gain concepts of external objects, 
are also capable of a peculiar sensation bound up 
therewith, of which wc cannot strictly decide whether 
it is based on sense or reflection. This susceptibility 
may sometimes be wanting, although in other respects 
the sense, as regards its use for the cognition of 
objects, is not at all deficient but is peculiarly fine. 
That is, we cannot say with certainly whether 
colours or tones (sounds) are merely pleasant sensa- 
tions or whether they form in themselves a beauti- 
ful play of sensations, and as such bring witli them 
in 2£sthetica] judgment a satisfaction in the form [of 
the object]. If we think of the velocity of the 
vibrations of light, or in the second case of the air. 
which probably far surpasses all our faculty of 
judging immediately in perception the time interval 
between them, we must believe that it is only the 
effect of these vibrations upon the elastic parts of 
our body that is felt, but tliat the time interval 
between them is not remarked or brought into judg- 
ment ; and thus that only pleasantness and not 

HIV. 1 I 53 



beauty of composition is bound up with colours and 
tones. But on the other hand, ^rst, we think of 
the mathematical [element] which enables us to 
pronounce on the proportion between these oscilla- 
tions in music ancT thus to judge of them ; and by 
analogy with which we easily may judge of the 
distinctions between colours. Secondly, we recall 
instances (although they are rare) of men who with 
the best sight in the world cannot distinguish 
colours, and with the sharpest hearing cannot dis- 
tinguish tones ; whilst for those who can do this 
the perception of an altered quality (not merely of 
the degree of sensation) in the different intensities 
in the scale of colours and tones is definite ; and 
further, the very number of these is fixed by /«- 
teUigibie differences. Thus we may be compelled 
to see that both kinds of sensations are to be 
regarded not as mere sensible impressions, but as 
the effects of a judgment passed upon the form in 
the play of divers sensations. The difference in our 
definition, according as we adopt the one or the 
other opinion in judging of the grounds of Music, 
would be just this : either, as we have done, we 
must explain it as the beautiful play of sensations 
(of hearing), or else as a play o{ pUasant sensations. 
According to the former mode of explanation music 
is represented altogether as a beautiful art ; accord- 
ing to the latter, as a pleasant art (at least in part). 

,» yj- 

\ 52. Of the combination of beautiful arts in one 
and the sanie product 

Rhetoric niay be combined with a pictorial pre- 
sentation of its subjects and objects in a theatrical 
piece ; poetr>' may be combined with music in a 




song, and this again with pictorial (theatrical) pre- 
sentation in an opfra \ the play of sensations in 
music may be combined with the play of figures in 
the danct\ and so on. Even the presentation of the 
sublime, so far as it belongs to beautiful art, may 
combine with beauty in a tragedy in verse, in a 
didactic poau, in an oratorio \ and in these combina- 
tions beautiful art is yet more artistic. Whether it 
IS also more beautiful may in some of these cases be 
doubted (since so many different kinds of satisfac- 
tion cross one another). Yet in all beautiful art the 
essential thing is the form, which is purposive as 
regards our observation and judgment, where the 
pleasure is at the same time cultivation and disposes 
the spirit to Ideas, and consequently makes it sus- 
ceptible of still more of such pleasure and enter- 
tainment. The essential element is not the matter 
of sensation (charm or emotion), which has only to 
do with enjoyment; this leaves behind nothing in 
the Idea, and it makes the spirit dull, the object 
gradually distasteful, and the mind, on account of 
its consciousness of a disposition that conlllcts with 
purpose in the judgment of Reason, discontented 
with itself and peevish. 

If the beautiful arts are not brought Into more or 
less close combination with moral Ideas, which alone 
bring with them a self-sufficing satisfaction, this latter 
fate must ultimately be theirs. They then serve only 
as a distraction, of which we are the more in need the 
more we avail ourselves of them to disperse the dis- 
content of the mind with itself; so that we thus render 
ourselves ever more useless and ever more discon- 
tented. The beauties of nature are generally of most 
benefit in this point of view ; if we are early accus- 
tomed to observe, appreciate, and admire tJiem. 

Div. I I 53 


% 53- Comparison of the respedive ^slhetical ivorlk 
of the beautiful arts 

Of all the arts poetry (which owes its origin 
almost entirely to genius and will least be guided by 
precept or example) maintains the first rank. It- 
expands the mind by setting the Imagination at 
liberty ; and by offering within the limits of a given 
concept amid the unbounded variety of possible 
forms accordant therewith, that which unites the 
presentment of this concept with a wealth of thought, 
to which no verbal expression is completely 
adequate; and so rising atsthetically to Ideas. It - 
strengthens the mind by making it feel its faculty — 
free, spontaneous and independent of natural deter- 
mination — of considering and judging nature as a 
phenomenon in accordance with aspects which it 
'does not present in experience either for Sense or 
Understanding, and therefore of using it on behalf 
of, and as a sort of schema for, the supersensible. 
■ It plays with illusion, which it produces at pleasure, 
but without deceiving by it ; for it declares its 
exercise to be mere play, which however can be 
purposively used by the Understanding. — Rhetoric, 
in so far as this means the art of persuasion, i.e. 
of deceiving by a beautiful show {ars oratorio), 
and not mere elegance of speech (eloquence and 
style), is a Dialectic, which borrows from poetry 
only so much as is needful to win minds to the side 
of the orator before ihey have formed a judgment, 
and to deprive them of their freedom ; it cannot 
therefore be recommended either for the law couns 
or for the pulpit. For if wc are dealing with civil 
law, with the rights of individual persons, or with 



l-AET I 

lasting instruction and determination of people's 
minds to an accurate knowledge and a conscientious 
obser\^ance of their duty, it is unworthy of so 
imix)rtant a business to allow a trace of any luxuri- 
ance of wit and imagination to appear, and still less 
any trace of the art of talking people over and of 
captivating them for the advantage of any chance 
person. For although this art may sometimes be 
directed to legitimate and praiseworthy designs, it 
becomes objectionable, when in this way maxims and 
dispositions arc spoiled in a subjective ix)int of view, 
though the action may objectively be lawful. It is 
not enough to do what is right ; we should practise 
it solely on the ground that it is right. Again, the 
mere concept of this species of matters of human 
concern, when clear and combined with a lively 
presentation of it in examples, without any offence 
against the rules of euphony of speech or propriety 
of expression, has by itself for Ideas of Reason (which 
collectively constitute eloquence), sufficient influence 
upon human minds ; so that it is not needful to add 
the machinery of persuasion, which, since it can be 
used equally well to beautify or to hide vice and 
error, cannot quite hill the secret suspicion that one 
is being artfully overreached. In poetry every- 
thing proceeds with honesty and candour. It 
declares itself to be a mere entertaining play of the 
Imagination, which wishes to proceed as regards 
form in harmony with the laws of the Understand- 
ing ; and it does not desire to steal upon and 
ensnare the Understanding by the aid of sensible 

I 1 must admit that a beauiiful poem has always given me a pure 
gralificaUon ; whilst the reading of the best discourse, whether of] 
a Roman orator or of a modern parliamentary* speaker or of al 

wv. 1 1 S3 



After poetry, if we are to d^al with chamt and 
mental movtmeni, I would place that art which comes 
nearest to the art of speech ami can very naturally 
be united with It, viz. the art of tone. For although 
it speaks by means of mere sensations without con- 
cepts, and so does not. like poetry, leave anything 
over for reflection, it ycl moves the mind in a greater 
variety of ways and more intensely, although only 
transitorily. It is, however, rather enjoyment than 
cultivation (the further play of thought that is excited 
by its means is merely the effect of an, as it were, 
mechanical association); and in the judgment of 
Reason it has less worth than any other of the beauti- 
ful arts. Hence, like all enjoyment, it desires constant | 
change, and does not bear frequent repetition with- 
out producing weariness. Its charm, which admits 
of universal communication,. appears to rest on this, 
that every expression of speech has in its context a 
tone appropriate to the sense. This tone indicates 
more or less an affection of the speaker, and pro- 
duces it also in the hearer; which affection excites 
in its turn in the hearer the Idea that is expressed 

preacher, lias always lieen nilnKlcd with an unpleasant feeling of 
disapprobation nf .1 trciclierous ait, which in&ms to move men in 
important matters like machines to a judgment that must lose aU 
weight for thcin on quiet reflection. Readiness and accuracy in 
speaking (which taken together constitute Rhetoric) belong to 
bcaiilifnl art ; but the art of the orator (ars ora/ortn)^ the art of 
availing oneself of the wcikncsses of men for one's own designs 
(whether these be welt meant or even actually good docs not matter) 
is worthy of no rcsfKct. Ajjain, this art only reached its highest 
point, both at Athens and at Rome, at a time when the state was 
iuistcning to its ruin and true patriotic sentiment had disappeared. 
■]'hc man xvho along with a clear insight into things in his power 
a wealth of pure speech, and who with a fruitful Imagination capable 
of presenting his Ideas unites a lively sympathy with what is truly 
good, is the vir bonus likemii pfritus^ the orator u-ithout art but of 
great imprcssiveness, as Cicero has it; though he may not always 
remain true to (his ideal. 


A'^/rrs h'/i/r/K of ft/DCMExr 


in speech by the tone in question. Thus as modula- 
tion is as it were a universal language of sensations 
intelligible to every man, the art of tone employs 
it by itself alone in its full force, viz. as a language 
of the affections, and thus communicates universally 
according to the laws of association the ^esthetical 
ideas naturally combined therewith. Now these 
eesthetica! Ideas are not concepts or determinate 
thoughts. Hence the form of the composition of 
these sensations (harmony and melody) only serves 
instead of the form of language, by means of their 
jiroportionate accordance, to express the tcsthetical 
Idea of a connected whole of an unspeakable wealth 
of thought, corresponding to a certain theme which 
produces the dominating affection in the piece. This 
can be brought mathematically under certain rules, 
because it rests in the case of tones on the relation 
between the number of vibrations of the air in the 
same time, so far as these tones are combined simul- 
taneously or successively. To this mathematical 
form, although not represented by determinate con- 
cepts, alone attaches the satisfaction that unites the 
mere reflection upon such a number of concomitant 
or consecutive sensations with this their play, as a 
condition of its beauty valid for every man. It is 
this alone which permits Taste to claim in advance 
a rightful authority over every one's judgment. 

But in the charm and mental movement produced 
by Music, Matheniatic has certainly not the slightest 
share. It is only the indispensable condition (coit- 
ditio sine qua non) of that proportion of the impres- 
sions in their combination and in their alternation by 
which \\ becomes possible to gather them together 
and prevent them from destroying one another, and 
to harmonise them so as to produce a continual 

onr. J 1 53 



movement and animacton of the mind, by means of 
affections consonant therewith, and thus a dehghtful 
personal enjoyment. 

If, on the other hand, we estimate the worth of 
the Beautiful Arts by the culture they supply to the 
mind, and take as a standard the expansion of the 
faculties which must concur in the Judgment for 
cognition, Music will have the lowest place among 
them (as it has perhaps the highest among those arts 
which are valued for their pleasantness), because it 
merely plays with sensations. The formative arts 
are far before it in this point of view ; for in putting 
the Imagination in a free play, which is also accord- 
ant with the Understanding, they at the same time 
carry on a serious business. This they do by pro-- 
ducing a product that serves for concepts as a 
permanent self-commendatory vehicle for promoting 
their union with sensibility and thus, as it were, 
the urbanity of the higher cognitive powers. These 
two species of art take quite different courses ; the 
^rst proceeds from sensations to indeterminate Ideas, 
the second from determinate Ideas to sensations. 
The latter produce permanent, the former only 
transitory impressions. The Imagination can recall 
the one and entertain itself pleasantly therewith ; 
but the other either vanish entirely, or if they are 
recalled involuntarily by the Imagination they are 
rather wearisome than pleasant^ Besides, there 
attaches to music a certain want of urbanity from the 
fact that, chiefly from the character of its instru- 
ments, it extends its influence further than is tlesired 
(in the neighbourhood), and so as it were obtrudes 
itself, and does violence to the freedom of others 


^ [From this m the end nf the paragraph, and the next note, 
were added in the Second Kdition.] 




who are not of the musical company. The Arts 
which appeal to the eyes do not do this ; lor we need 
only turn our eyes away, if we wish to avoid being 
impressed. The case of music is almost Hke that of 
the delight derived from a smell that diffuses itself 
widely. The man who pulls his perfumed handker- 
chief out of his pocket attracts the attention of all 
round him, even against their will, and he forces 
them, if they are to breathe at all. to enjoy the 
scent ; hence this habit has gone out of fashion/ 

Among the formative arts I would give the palm 
to painting ; partly because as the art of delineation 
it lies at the root of all the other formative arts, and 
partly because it can penetrate much further into 
the region of Ideas, and can extend the field of 
intuition in conformity with them further than the 
others can. 

%^A. Remark 

As we have often shown, there is an essential 
difference between lo/mi sa/is/ics simply in the act 
of judging it, and that which gratifies (pleases in 
sensation). We cannot ascribe the latter [kind of 
satisfaction] to every one, as we can the former. 
Gratification (the causes of which may even be 

I Those who recommend the singing nf spiriltul snngs nt family 
prayers do not consider that tbcy inflict a great hardship upon the 
public by such noisy (and therefore in general pbarisaical) devo- 
lions ; for they force Ihe neighbours cither lo sing with ihcm or to 
abandon their mcdilalions. [Kani suffered himself from such annoy- 
ances, which may account for tlie asperity of this note. At one 
period he was disturbed by the devotional exercises of the prisoners 
in the adjoinintf jail. In a letter to l}ic burgomaster " he suggested 
the advantage of closing the ivindows during these hynin-singings, 
and added that the warders of the prison might probably be directed 
to accept less sonorous and neighbour-annoying chants as evidence 
of the penitent spirit of ihcir captives '' (Wallace's Kant, p. 42).] 


situate in Ideas) appears always to consist in a feeling 
of the furtherance of the whole life of the man, and 
consequently, also of his bodily well-being, i.e. his 
health ; so that EpUurjts, who gave out that all 
gratification was at bottom bodily sensation, may, 
perhaps, not have been wrong, but only misunder- 
stood himself when he reckoned intellectual and 
even practical satisfaction under gratification. If 
we have this distinction in view we can explain 
how a gratification may dissatisfy the man who 
sensibly feels it [eg: the joy of a needy but well- 
meaning man at becoming the heir of an affec- 
tionate but penurious father) ; or how a deep grief 
may satisfy the person experiencing it (the sorrow 
of a widow at the death of her excellent husband) ; 
or how a gratification can in addition satisfy (as in 
the sciences that we pursue) ; or how a grief {e.g: 
hatred, envy, revenge) can moreover dissatisfy. 
The satisfaction or dissatisfaction here depends on 
Reason^ and is the same as approbation or disap- 
probation \ but gratification and grief can only rest 
on the feeling or prospect of a possible {on whatever 
grounds) well-being or its opposite. 

All changing free play of sensations (that have 
no design at their basis) gratifies, because it furthers 
the feeling of health. In the judgment of Reason 
we may or may not have any satisfaction in its 
object or even in this gratification ; and this latter 
may rise to the height of an affection, although 
we take no interest in the object, at least none 
that is proportionate to the tlegree of the gratifica- 
tion. We may subdivide this free play of sensations 
into the play of fortiuw [games of chance]. Xh^ play 
of tone [music], and the play of thought [wit]. The 
first requires an interest^ whether of vanity or of 


A'^J^rr'S A-Jf/l'/A' OF JUDGMENT 

PARI' 1 

selfishness ; which, however, is not nearly so great 
as the interest that attaches to the way In which 
we are striving to procure it. The second requires 
merely the change of sensations, all of which have 
a relation to affection, though they have not the 
degree of affection, and excite xsthetical Ideas. 
The third springs merely from the change of re- 
presentations in the Judgment; by it, indeed, no 
thought that brings an interest with ic is produced, 
but yet the mind is animated thereby. 

How much gratification games must afford, 
without any necessity of placing at their basis an 
interested design, all our evening parties show ; 
for hardly any of them can be carried on without 
a game. But the aflections of hope, fear, joy, 
wrath, scorn, are put in play by them, alternating 
ever)' moment ; and they are so vivid that by them, 
as by a kind of internal motion, all the vital processes 
of the body seem to be promoted, as is shown by 
the mental vivacity excited by them, although 
nothing is gained or learnt thereby. But as the 
beautiful does not enter into games of chance, we 
will here set it aside. On the other hand, music 
and that which excites laughter are two different 
kinds of play with ;esthetlcal Ideas, or of representa- 
tions of the Understanding through which ultimately 
nothing is thought, which can give lively gratification 
merely by their changes. Thus we recognise pretty 
clearly that the animation in both cases is merely 
bodily, although it is excited by Ideas of the mind ; 
and that the feeling of health produced by a motion of 
the intestines corresponding to the play in question 
makes up that whole gratification of a gay party, 
which is regarded iis so refined and so spiritual. 
It is not the judging the harmony in tones or 

Oiv. I 1 54 



sallies of wit,— which serves only in combination 
with their beauty as a necessan,' vehicle, — but the 
furtherance of the vital bodily processes^ the affection 
that moves the intestines and the diaphragm, in 
a word, the feeling of health (which without such 
inducements one does not feel) that makes up the 
gratification felt by us ; so that we can thus reach 
the body through the soul and use the latter as the 
physician of the former, 

in music this play proceeds from bodily sensa- 
tions to aesthetical Ideas (the Objects of our 
affections), and then from these back again to the 
body with redoubled force. In the case of jokes 
(the art of which, just Hke music, should rather be 
reckoned as pleasant than beautiful) the play begins 
with the thoughts which together occupy the body, 
so far as they admit of sensible expression ; and 
as the Understanding stops suddenly short at this 
presentment, in which it does not find what it ex- 
pected, we feel the effect of this slackening in the 
body by the oscillation of the organs, which promotes 
the restoration of equilibrium and has a favourable 
influence upon health. 

In everything that is to excite a lively convulsive 
laugh there must be something absurd (in which the 
Understanding, therefore, can find no satisfaction). 
Laughter is an affectioit arising from the sudden 
traKsformaii^n of a strained expectation into nothing. 
This transformation, which is certainly not enjoyable 
to the Understanding, yet indirectly gives it very 
active enjoyment for a moment. Therefore its 
cause must consist in the inlluence of the repre- 
sentation upon the body, and the reflex effect of 
this upon the mind ; not, indeed, through the 
representation being objectively an object of grati- 




fication^ (for how could a delusive expectation 
gratify ?), but simply througli it as a mere play of 
representations bringing about an equilibrium of 
the vital powers in the body. 

Suppose this story to be told : An Indian at the 
table of an Englishman in Surat, when he saw a 
bottle of ale opened and all the beer turned into 
froth and overflowing, testified his great astonishment 
with many exclamations. When the Englishman 
asked him, " What is there in this to astonish you so 
much?" he answered, " I am not at all astonished 
that it should flow out, but 1 do wonder how you ever 
got it in." At this stor>' we laugh, and it gives us 
hearty pleasure ; not because we deem ourselves 
cleverer than this ignorant man, or because of 
anything in it that we note as satisfactory to the 
Understanding, but because our expectation was 
strained [for a time] and then was suddenly 
dissipated into nothing. Again : The heir of a 
rich relative wished to arrange for an imix)sing 
funeral, but he lamented that he could not properly 
succeed; "for" (said he) "the more money I give 
my mourners to look sad, the more cheerful they 
look!" When we hear this story we laugh loud, 
and the reason is that an expectation is suddenly 
transformed into nothing. We must note well that 
it does not transform itself into the positive opposite 
of an expected object — for then there would still be 
something, which might even be a cause of grief— 
but it must be transformed into nothing. For if a 
man arouses great expectations in us when telling a 
story, and at the end we see its falsehood immedi- 
ately, it displeases us ; e.g. the story of the people 

I [The First Edition adds "as in the case of a man who gets the 
news of a greai commercial success,"] 

MV. 1 1 S4 



whose hair in consequence of great grief turned 
gray in one night. But if a wag, to repair the effect 
of this story, describes very circunistaniially the 
grief of the merchant returning from India to 
Europe with all his wealth in merchandise who was 
forced to throw it overboard in a heavy storm, 
and who grieved thereat so much that his wig 
turned gray the same night — we laugh and it gives 
us gratification. For we treat our own mistake in 
the case of an object otherwise indifferent to us. or 
rather the Idea which we are following out, as we 
treat a ball which we knock to and fro for a time. 
though our only serious intention is to seize it and 
hold it fast. It is not the mere dismissal of a liar or 
a simpleton that arouses our gratification ; for the 
latter story told with assumed seriousness would set 
a whole company in a roar of laughter, while the 
former would ordinarily not be regarded as worth 
attending to. 

It is remarkable that in all such cases the jest 
must contain something that is capable of deceiving 
for a moment. Hence, when the illusion is dissi- 
pated, the mind turns back to try it once again, and 
thus through a rapidly alternating tension and re- 
laxation it is jerked back and put into a state of 
oscillation. This, because the strain on the cord as 
It were is suddenly (and not gradually) relaxed, must 
occasion a mental movement, and an inner bodily 
movement harmonising therewith, which continues 
involuntarily and fatigues, even while cheering us 
(the effects of a motion conducive to health). 

For if we admit that with all our thoughts is 
harmonically combined a movement in the organs 
of the body, we will easily comprehend how to this 
sudden transposition of the mind, now to one now to 




rA&T 1 

another standpoint in order to contemplate its 
object, may correspond an alternating tension and 
relaxation of the elastic portions of our intestines, 
which communicates itself to the diaphraf^m (like 
that which tickHsh people feel). In connection with 
this the lungs expel the air at rapidly succeeding 
lnter\'als. and thus bring about a movement 
beneficial to health ; which alone, and not what 
precedes it in the mind, is the proper cause of the 
gratification in a thought that at bottom represents 
nothing. — Voltaire said that heaven had given us 
two things to counterbalance the many miseries of 
life, hope and sUep} He could have added laughter, 
if the means of exciting it in reasonable men were 
only as easily attainable, and the requisite wit or 
originality of humour were not so rare, as the talent 
is common of imagining things which break one's 
head, as mystic dreamers do, or which break one's 
neek, as your genius does, or which dreak ones luart, 
as sentimental romance-writers (and even moralists 
of the same kidney) do. 

We may therefore, as it seems to me, readily 
concede to EpicHrus that all gratification, even that 
which is occasioned through concepts, excited by 
a^sthetical Ideas, is animal, i.e. bodily sensation ; 
without the least prejudice to the spiritual feeling 
of respect for moral Ideas, which is not gratification 
at all but an esteem for self (for humanity in us), 
that raises us above the need of gratification, and 

^ [ Henriiui^, Ckani 7, sub init. 

"Du Dieu qui nous cda. la cl^tnence infinie, 
Pour adoucir Ics inaux dc cette caurte \ic, 
A ptac^ parmi nous deux £(rc» bienlaisants, 
De la lerre ^jamais aimables habitants, 
Soutiens dans les travaux, tnfsors dans I'indig«nce : 
L'an csl le doux sonuneil, ct I'autic est I'espcrance."] 

Div. 1 1 54 



even without the slightest prejiiclice to the less noble 
[satisfactions] of taste. 

We find a combination of these two last in 
naivefi', which is the breaking out of the sincerity 
originally natural to humanity in opposition to that 
arc of dissimulation which has become a second 
nature. We laugh at the simplicity that does not 
understand how to dissemble ; and yet we are 
delighted with the simplicity of the nature which 
thwarts that art. Wc look for the commonplace 
manner of artificial utterance devised with foresight 
to make a fair show ; and behold .' it is the 
unspoiled innocent nature which we do not expect 
to find, and which he who displays it did not think 
of disclosing. That the fair but false show which 
generally has so much influence upon our judgment 
is here suddenly transformed into nothing, so that, 
as it were, the rogue in us is laid bare, produces a 
movernent of the mind in two opposite directions, 
which gives a wholejsome shock to the body. But 
the fact that something infinitely better than all 
assumed manner, viz. purit)' of disposition (or at 
least the tendency thereto), is not quite extinguished 
yet in human nature, blends seriousness and high 
esteem with this play of the Judgment. But be- 
cause it is only a transitory phenomenon and the 
veil of dissimulation is soon drawn over it again, 
fithere is mingled therewith a compassion which is 
an emotion of tenderness ; this, as play, readily 
admits of combination with a good-hearted laugh. 
and ordinarily is actually so combined, and withal is 
wont to compensate him who supplies the material 
therefor for the embarrassment which results from 
not yet being wise after the manner of men. — An 
art that is to be naive is thus a contradiction ; but 



[•ART I 

the representation of nalvet^ in a fictitious per- 
sonage is quite possible, and is a beautiful though 
a rare art. Naivete must not be confounded with 
open-hearted simplicity, which does not artificially 
spoil nature solely because it does not understand 
the art of social intercourse. 

The hunwrous manner again may be classified 
as that which, as exhilarating us, is near akin to 
the gratification that proceeds from laughter ; and 
belonijs to the originality of spirit, but not to 
the talent of beautiful art. Humour in the good 
sense means the talent of being able voluntarily 
to put oneself into a certain mental disposition, 
in which everything is judged quite differently 
from the ordinary method (reversed, in fact), and 
yet in accordance with certain rational principles 
in such a frame of mind. He who is involuntarily 
subject to such mutations is called a man of humours 
[launisch] ; but he who can assume them voluntarily 
and purposively (on behalf of a lively presentment 
brought about by the aid of a contrast that e.xcites 
a laugh) — he and his exposition are called humorous 
[launigt]. This manner, however, belongs rather 
to pleasant than to beautiful art, because the object 
of the latter niust always show proper worth in 
itscU. and hence requires a certain seriousness 
in the presentation, as taste does in the act of 



A faculty of Judgment that is to be dialectical 
must in the first place be rationalising, i.e. its judg- 
ments must claim universality ^ and that a priori ; 
for it is in the opposition of such judgments that 
Dialectic consists. Hence the incompatibility of 
sesthetical judgments of Sense (about the pleasant 
and the unpleasant) is not dialectical. And again, 
the conflict between judgments of Taste, so far 
as each man depends merely on his own taste, 
forms no Dialectic of taste ; because no one proposes 
to make his own judgment a universal rule. There 
remains therefore no other concept of a Dialectic 
which has to do with taste than that of a Dialectic 
of the Kritik of taste (not of taste itself) in respect 
of its principles ; for here concepts that contradict 
one another (as to the ground of the possibility of 
judgments of taste in general) naturally and unavoid- 
ably present themselves. The transcendental Kritik 

' We may describe as a rationalising judgment (Judicium 
rafiocinans) one which proclaims itself as universal, for as such it 
can serve as the major premise of a syllogism. On the other hand, 
we can only speak of a judgment as rational {judicium ratiocinatum) 
which is thought as the conclusion of a syllogism, and consequently as 
grounded a priori. 




of taste will therefore contain a part which can beafj 
the name of a Dialectic of the a^sthetical Judgment, 
only if and so far as there is found an antinomy of 
the principles of this faculty which renders its con- 
formity to law, and consequently also its internal 
l>ossibiliiy, doubtful. 

§ 56. Representation of tfie antinomy of Taste 

The first commonplace of taste is contained in 
the proposition, with which every tasteless jierson 
proposes to avoid blame : every one has his own taste. 
That is as much as to say that the determining 
ground of this judgment is merely subjective (grati- 
fication or grief), and that the judgment has no right 
to the necessary assent of others. 

The second commonplace invoked even by those 
who admit for judgments of taste the right to speak 
with validity for every one is : there is no disputing 
about taste. That is as much as to say that the deter- 
mining ground of a judgment of taste may indeed be 
objective, but that it cannot be reduced to definite 
concepts ; and that consequently about the judgment 
itself nothing can be decided by proofs, although 
much may rightly be contested. Vor contesting [quar- 
relling] and rt'/j;^;//?;/^'' [controversy] are doubtless the 
same in this, that by means of the mutual opposition 
of judgments they seek to produce their accordance ; 
but different in that the latter hopes to bring this 
about according to definite concepts as determining 
grounds, and consequently assumes objective concepts 
as grounds of the judgment. But where this is 
regarded as impracticable, controversy is regarded 
as alike impracticable. 

We easily see that between these two common- 

Div. a 1 57 



places there is a proposition wanting, which, though 
it has not passed into a proverb, is yet familiar 
to every one, viz. i/ierc may be a quarrel about 
taste (although there can be no controversy). But 
this proposition involves the contradictory of the 
former one. For wherever quarrelling is permissible, 
there must be a hope of mutual reconciliation ; 
and consequently we can count on grounds of our 
judgment that have not merely private validity, and 
therefore are not merely subjective. And to this 
the proposition, every one /las his own taste, is 
directly opposed. 

There emerges therefore in respect of the prin- 
ciple of taste the following Antinomy : — 

(i) T/i€sis. The judgment of taste is not based 
upon concepts ; for otherwise it would admit of 
controversy (would be determinable by proofs). 

(2) Antithesu, The judgment of taste is based 
on concepts ; for otherwise, despite its diversity, we 
could not quarrel about it (we could not claim for 
our judgment the necessary assent of others). 

§ 57. Solution of the antinomy of Taste 

There is no possibility of removing the conflict 
between these principles that underlie every judg- 
ment of taste (which are nothing else than the two 
peculiarities of the judgment of taste exhibited 
above in the Analytic), except by showing that the 
concept to which we refer the Object in this kind 
of judgment is not taken in the same sense in both 
maxims of the a:sthctical Judgment. This twofold 
sense or twofold point of view is necessary to our 
transcendental Judgment ; but also the illusion 





which arises from the confusion of one with the 
other is natural and unavoidable. 

The judgment of Uiste must refer to some con- 
cept ; otherwise it could make absolutely no claim 
to Ije necessarily valid for every one. But it is not 
therefore capable of being proved from a concept : 
because a concept may be either determinable or in 
itself undetermined and undeterminable. The con- 
cepts of the Understanding are of the former kind : 
they are determinable through predicates of sensible 
intuition which can correspond to them. But the 
transcendental rational concept of the supersensible, 
which lies at the basis of all sensible intuition, is of 
the latter kind, and therefore cannot be theoretically 
determined further. 

Now the judgment of taste is applied to objects 
of Sense, but not with a view of determining a con- 
cept of them for the Understanding; for it is not a 
cognitive judgment. It is thus only a private 
judgment, in which a singular representation intui- 
tively [Derceived is referred to the feeling of pleasure : 
and so far would be limited as regards its validity 
to the individual judging. The object xs for me an 
object of satisfaction ; by others it may be regarded 
quite differently — every one has his own t;istc. 

Nevertheless there is undoubtedly contained in 
the judgment of taste a wider reference of the 
representation of the Object (as well as of the 
subject), whereon we base an extension of judg- 
ments of this kind as necessar)' for every one. At 
the basis of this there must necessarily be a concept 
somewhere; though a concept which cannot be 
determined through intuition. But through a con- 
cept of this sort we know nothing, and consequently 
it can supply no proof for the judgment of taste. 

»iv. II I 57 



Such a concept is the mere pure rational concept of 
the supursensible which underlies the Object (and 
also the subject judging it), regarded as an object 
of sense and thus as phenomenal.' For if we do 
not admit such a reference, the claim of the judg- 
ment of taste to universal validity would not hold 
good. \i the concept on which it is based were 
only a mere confused concept of the Understanding, 
like that of perfection, with which we could bring 
the sensible intuition of the Beautiful into corre- 
spondence, it woultl beat least possible in itself to 
base the judgment of taste on proofs; which con- 
tradicts the thesis. "^ 

But all contradiction diBapj>ears if 1 say : the 
judgment of taste is based on a concept (viz. the 
concept of the general ground of the subjective 
purposiveness of nature for the Judgment) ; from 
which, however, nothing caii be known and proved 
in respect of the Object, because it is in itself 
undeterminable and useless for knowledge. Yet at 
the same time and on that very account the judg- 
ment lias validity for every one (though of course 
for each only as a singular judgment immediately 
accompanying his intuition); becatise Its determining 
ground lies perhaps in the concept of that which 
may be regarded as the sui>ersensible substrate ol 

The solution of an antinomy only depends on 
the possibility of showing that two apparently con- 
tradictory propositions do not contradict one another 
in fact, but that tlity may be consistent ; although the 
explanation of the possibility of their concept may 
transcend our cognitive faculties. That this illusion 
is natural and unavoidable by human Reason, and 

' [Lf. p. 241 /■«//■«.] 




also why it is so, and remains so, although il ceases 
to deceive after the analysis of the apparent con- 
tradiction, may be thus explained. 

In the two contradictory judgments we take the 
concept, on which the universal validity of a judg- 
ment must be based, in the same sense ; and yet we 
apply to it two opposite predicates. In the Thesis 
we mean that the judgment of taste is not based 
upon deferntinaic concepts; and in the Antithesis 
that the judgment of taste is based upon a concept, 
but an indilemiinate one (viz. of the supersensible 
substrate of phenomena). Between these two there 
is no contradiction. 

We can do nothing more than remove this 
conflict between the claims and counter-claims of 
taste. It is absolutely impossible to give a definite 
objective principle of taste, in accordance with 
which its judgments could be derived, examined, 
and established ; for then the judgment would not 
be one of taste at aU. The subjective principle, 
viz. the indefinite Idea of the supersensible in us, 
can only be put forward as the sole key to the 
puzzle of this faculty whose sources are hidden 
from us : it can be made no further intelligible. 

The proper concept of taste, that is of a merely 
reflective aesthetical judgment, lies at the basis of 
the antinomy here exhibited and adjusted. Thus 
the two apparently contradictory principles are 
reconciled — both catt be true ; which is sufficient 
If, on the other hand, we assume, as some do, 
pUasantness as the determining ground of taste (on 
account of the singularity of the representation 
which lies at the basis of the judgment of taste), or, 
as others will have it, the principle of perfection (on 
account of the universality of the same), and setde 



Div. n • 57 



the definition of taste accordingly ; then there arises 
an antinomy which it is absolutely impossible to 
adjust except by showing thai both the contrary 
(not merely contradictory) propositions are false. 
And this would prove that the concept on which 
they are based is seIf-contradictor)\ Hence we see 
that the removal of the antinomy of the ssthetical 
Judgment takes a course similar to that pursued by 
the Kritik in the solution of the antinomies of pure 
theoretical Reason. And thus here, as also in the 
Kritik of practical Reason, the antinomies force us 
against our will to look beyond the sensible and to 
seek in the supersensible the point of union for all 
our a priori faculties ; because no other expedient is 
left to make our Reason harmonious with itself. 

Remark I. 

As we so often find occasion in Transcendental 
Philosophy for distinguishing Ideas from concepts of 
the Understanding, it may be of use to introduce 
technical terms to correspond to this distinction. I 
believe that no one will object if I propose some. — 
In the most universal signification of the word, 
Ideas are representations referred to an object, 
according to a certain (subjective or objective) 
principle, but so that they can never become a 
cognition of it. They are either referred to an 
intuition, according to a merely subjective principle 
of the mutual harmony of the cognitive powers 
(the Imagination and the Understanding), and they 
are then called (tsthetical; or they are referred to 
a concept according to an objective principle, 
although they can never furnish a cognition of the 
object, and are called rational Ideas. In the latter 




case the concept is a IransctniietU one, which is 
different from a concept of the Understanding, to 
which an adequately corresponding experience can 
always be supplied, and which therefore is called 

An issthelical Idea cannot become a cognition, 
because it is an intuHimi (of the Imagination) for 
which an adequate concept can never be found. 
A 7-aiionai Idea can never become a cognition, 
because it involves a concept (of the supersensible), 
corresponding to which an intuition can never be 

Now I believe we might call the a;sthetical Idea 
an inexpoiiibic representation of the Imagination, 
and a rational Idea an indcmonslrabk concept of 
Reason. It is assumed of both that they are not 
generated without grounds, but (according to the 
above explanation of an Idea in general) in 
conformity with certain principles of the cognitive 
faculties to which they belong (subjective principles 
in the one case, objective in the other). 

Concepts of the Understanding must, as such, 
always be demonstrable [if by demonstration we 
understand, as in anatomy, merely presentation^ ; ' 
ix. the object corresponding to them must always 
be capable of being given in intuition (pure or 
empirical) ; for thus alone could they become 
cognitions. The concept o( magnitude c^w be given 
a priori m the intuition of space, e.g. of a right line, 
etc. ; the concept of cause in impenetrability, in the 
collision of bodies, etc. Consequently both can be 
authenticated by means of an empirical intuition, i.e. 
the thought of them can be proved (demonstrated, 
verified) by an example ; and this must be possible, 
' [Second Edition.] 

DiV. II #57 



for otherwise we should not be certain that the con- 
cept was not empty, i.e. devoid of any Object. 

I n Logic we ordinarily use the expressions 
demonstrable or indemonstrable only in respect of 
proposiiions, but these might be better designated by 
the titles respectively of vi'eiiuitcly and imnitdiately 
certain propositions : for pure Philosophy has also 
propositions of both kinds, i.e, true propositions, 
some of which are susceptible of proof and others 
not. It can, as philosophy, prove them on a prii^ri 
grounds, but it cannot demonstrate them : unless 
we wish to depart entirely from the proper mean- 
ing of this word, according to which to demonstrate , 
(osteitdere, exhibere) is equivalent to presenting a 
concept in intuition (whether in proof or merely in 
definition). If the intuition is a priori this is called 
construction ; but if it is empirical, then the Object 
is displayed by means of which objective reality is 
assured to the concept. Thus we say of an ana- 
tomist that he demonstrates the human eye, if by 
a dissection of this organ he makes intuitively 
evident the concept which he has previously treated 

It hence follows that the rational concept of the 
supersensible substrate of all phenomena in general. 
or even of that which must be placed at the basis of 
our arbitrary will in respect of the moral law, viz. 
of transcendental freedom, is already, in kind, an 
indemonstrable concept and a rational Idea ; while 
virtue is so, in degree. F*or there can be given in 
experience, as regards its quality, absolutely nothing 
corresponding to the former; whereas in the latter 
case no empirical product attains to the degree of 
that causality, which the rational Idea prescribes as 
the rule. 




As in a rational Idea the Imagination with its 
intuitions does not attain to the given concept, so in 
an zesthetical Idea the Understanding hy its concepts 
never attains completely to that internal intuition 
which the Imagination binds up with a given 
representation. Since, now, to reduce a representa- 
tion of the Imagination to concepts is the same 
thing as to expound it, the iesthetical Idea may be 
called an incxponible representation of the Imagina- 
tion (in its free play). 1 shall have occasion in the 
sequel to say something more of Ideas of this kind ; 
now 1 only note that both kinds of Ideas, rational 
and a;sthetical, must have their principles ; and must 
have them in Reason — the one in the objective, 
the other in the subjective principles of its 

We can consequently explain genius as the 
faculty of (rstitetiail Ideas ; by which at the same 
time is shown the reason why in the products of 
genius it is the nature (of the subject) and not a 
premeditated purpose that gives the rule to the art 
(of the production of the beautiful). For since the 
beautiful must not be judged by concepts, but by 
the purposive attuning of the Imagination to 
agreement with the faculty of concepts in general, it 
cannot be rule and precept which can serve as the 
subjective standard of that sesthetical but uncon- 
ditioned purposiveness in beautiful art. that can 
rightly claim to please every one. It can only be 
that in the subject which is nature and cannot be 
brought under rules or concepts, i.e. the super- 
sensible substrate of all his faculties (to which no 
concept of the Understanding extends), and 
consequently that with respect to which it is the 
final purpose given by the intelligible [part] of our 

Piv. II i 57 



nature to harmonise all our cognitive faculties* 
Thus alone is it possible that there should be 
a priori at the basis of this purjjosiveness, for which 
we can prescribe no objective principle, a principle 
subjective and yet of luiivcrsal vulidity. 

Remark II. 

The following important remark occurs here : 
There are ihree kinds of Antinomies of pure 
Reason, which, however, all agree in this, that they 
compel us to give up the otherwise very natural 
hypothesis that objects of sense are things in 
themselves, and force us to regard them merely as 
phenomena, and to supply to them an intelligible 
substrate (something supersensible of which the 
concept is only an Idea, and supplies no proper 
knowledge). Without such antinomies Reason 
could never decide upon accepting a principle 
narrowing so much the field of its si>ecu]ation. and 
could never bring itself to sacrifices by which so 
many otherwise brilliant liopes must disappear. 
For even now when, by way of compensation for 
these losses, a greater field in a practical aspect 
opens out before it, it appears not to be able without 
grief to part from those hopes, and disengage itself 
from its old attachment. 

That there are three kinds of antinomies has its 
ground in this, that there are three cognitive^ 
faculties. — Understanding, Judgment, and Reason; 
of which each (as a superior cognitive faculty) must 
have its a priori principles. For Reason, in so far 
as it judges of these principles and their use, 
inexorably requires. In respect of them all, the un- 
conditioned for the given conditioned ; and this 





never be found if we consider the sensible aSi 
l>eIonging to things in themselves, and do not 
rather supply to it, as mere phenomenon, something 
supersensible (the intelligible substrate of nauire 
both external and internal) as the reality in itself 
[Sache an sich selbst]. There are then: (1) For 
^U/u cogmiivc /aaiily an antinomy of Reason 
respect of the theoretical employment of the Under: 
standing extended to the unconditioned: {2) /o 
(he feeiing of pieasure and pain an antinomy of 
Reason in respect of the aesthetical employment 
the Judgment; and ("^for the fantlly of desire an^ 
antinomy in respect of the practical employment of 
the self- legislative Reason; so far as all these 
faculties have their superior principles a prwi'i, and, 
in conlormity with an inevitable requirement ofj 
Reason, must judge and be able to determine their] 
Object. uHcondit laita/iy iiccordxng to those principles.! 
As for the two antinomies of the theoreticidj 
and practical employment of the sui>erior cognitive 
faculties, we have already shown their unavoidabU- 
ftrss, if judgments of this kind are not referred to a 
supersensible substrate of the given Objects, asfl 
phenomena ; and also the possibiHty of their so/it- 
fioft. as soon as lliis is done. And as for the 
antinomies in the employment of the Judgment, in 
conformity with the requirements of Reason, and 
their solution which is here given, there are only 
two ways of avoiding them. Either: we must deny 
that any a priori principle lies at the basis of the 
ajsthelical judgment of taste ; we must maintain that 
all claim to necessary universal agreement is a ground- 
less and vain fancy, and that a judgment of taste 
only deserves to I>e regarded as correct because it 
happens that many people agree about it: and this, 

DIV, It I 58 


not because we assume an a priori principle behind 
this agreement, but because (as in the taste of the 
palate) of the contingent similar organisation of the 
different subjects. \Or\ we must assume that the 
judgment of taste is really a disguised judijment of 
Reason upon the perfection discovered in a thln^ 
and the reference of the manifold in it to a purpose, 
and is consequently only called seslhctical on 
account of the confusion here attaching to our 
redection, although it is at bottom teleolofjical. In 
the latter case we could declare the solution of the 
antinomies by means of transcendental Ideas to 
be needless and without point, and thus could 
harmonise these laws of taste with Objects of sense, 
not as mere phenomena but as thtngs in themselves. 
But we have shown in several places in the ex- 
position of judgments of taste how little either of 
these expedients will satisfy. 

However, if it be granted that our deduction at 
least proceeds by the right method, although it be 
not yet plain enough in all its parts, three Ideas 
manifest themselves. First, there is the Idea of 
the supersensible in general, without any further 
determination of it, as the substrate of nature. 
Secondly, there is the Idea of the same as the 
principle of the subjective purposiveness of nature' 
for our cognitive faculty. KxiA thirdly, there is the 
Idea of the same as the principle of the purposes 
of freedom, and of the agreement of freedom with 
its purposes in the moral sphere. 

58. Of the Idealism of the purposiveness of both 
Nature and Art as the unifpte principle of 
the asthetieal Judgment. 

To begin with, we can either place the principle 





of taste in the fact that it always judges in accord- 
ance with grounds which are empirical and lljerefore 
are only given a posictiori by sense, or concede 
that it judi,'(!S on a priori grounds. The former 
would be the trnpiricism of the Kritik of Taste ; 
the latter Its rationalism. According to the former 
the Object of our satisfaction would not differ from 
i)\^ p/easant ; according to the latter, if the judgment 
rests on definite concepts, it would not differ from 
the good. Thus all bt'uuly would be banished from 
the world, and only a particular name, expressing 
perhaps a certain mingling of the two above-named 
kinds of satisfaction, would remain in its place. But 
we h.ivt: shown that there are also a priori grounds 
of satisfaction which can subsist along with the 
principle of rationalism, although they cannot be 
comprehended in dtjinilt' concepts. 

On the other hand, the rationalism of the prin- 
ciple of taste is either that of the realism of the 
puri>osiveness. or of its idealism. Because a judg- 
ment of taste is not a cognitive judgment, and 
beauty is not a characteristic of the Object, con- 
sidered in itself, the rationalism of the principle of 
taste can never be placed in the fact that the pur- 
posivcness in this judgment is thought as objective, 
i.e. that the judgment theoretically, and therefore 
also logically (although only in a confused way), 
refers to the perfection of the Object, it only refers 
test Itel it-ally to the agreement of the representation 
of the Object in the Imagination with the essential 
principles of Judgment in general in the subject. 
Consequendy, even according to the principle of 
rationalism, the judgment of taste and the distinc- 
tion between its realism and idealism can onlv be 
settled thus. Either in the first case, this subjective 

DIV. II f 58 



purposiveness is assumed as an actual (desigiied) 
purpose of nature (or art) harmonising with our Judg- 
jnent ; or, in the second case, as a purposive har- 
mony with the needs of Judgment, in respect of 
nature and its forms produced according to particular 
laws, which shows itself, without purpose, sponta- 
neously, and contingently. 

The beautiful formations in the kingdom of 
organised nature speak loudly for the Realism of the 
aesthetical purposiveness of nature ; since we might 
assume that behind the production of the beautiful 
there is an Idea of the beautiful in the producing 
cause, viz. a purpose in respect of our Imagination. 
Flowers, blossoms, even the shapes of entire plants ; 
the elegance of animal formations of all kinds, 
unneeded for their proper use, but, as it were, 
selected for our taste ; especially the charming variety 
so satisfying to the eye and the harmonious arrange- 
ment of colours (in the pheasant, in shell-fish, in 
insects, even in the commonest flowers), which, as 
it only concerns the surface and not the figure of 
these creations (though perhaps requisitt: in regard 
of their internal purposes), seems to be entirely 
designed for external inspection ; these things give 
great weight to that mode of explanation which 
assumes actual purposes of nature for our aesthetical 

On the other hand, not only is Reason opposed 
to this assumption in its maxims, which bid us always 
avoid as far as possible unnecessary multiplication 
of principles ; but nature everywhere shows in its 
free formations much mechanical tendency to the 
productions of forms which seem, as it were, to be 
made for the a:sthetical exercise of our Judgment, 
without affording the least ground for the supposition 

, ' t 




thai ihere is need of anything more than its mechan- 
ism, merely as nature, according to which, without 
any Idea lying at their root, they can be purposive 
for our judgment. But I understand hy J'ree fomta- 
tions of nature those whereby from a fluid ai resl, 
through the volatilisation or separation of a portion 
of its constituents (sometimes merely of caloric), the 
remainder in becoming solid assumes a definite 
shape or tissue (figure or texture), which is different 
according to the specific difference of the material, 
but in the same material is constant. Here it is 
always presupposed that we are speaking of a per- 
fect fluid, i.e. that the material in it is completely 
dissolved, and that it is not a mere medley of solid 
particles in a state of suspension. 

Formation, then, takes place by a shooting together, 
i.e. by a sudden solidification, not by a gradual 
transition from the fiuid to the solid state, but all at 
once by a sa/tns ; which transition is also called 
crystallisation. The commonest example of this 
kind of formation is the freezing of water, where 
first icicles are produced, which combine at angles 
of 60', while others attach themselves to each vertex, 
until it all becomes ice ; and so that, while this b 
going on. the water does not gradually become 
viscous, but is as perfectly Aqid as if its temperature 
were far higher, although it Is absolutely ice-cold. 
The matter that disengages itself, which is dissipated 
suddenly at the moment of solidification, is a con- 
siderable quantum of caloric, the disappearance of 
which, as it was only required for preserving 
fluidity, leaves the new ice not in the least colder 
than the water which shortly before was fluid. 

Many salts, and also rocks, of a crj'stalline 
figure, are produced thus from a species of earth 

DIV. 11 I 58 



dissolved in water, we do not exactly know how. 
Thus are formed the crystalline configurations of 
many minerals, the cubical sulphide of lead, the ruby 
silver ore, etc., in all probability in water and by 
the shooting together of particles, as they become 
forced by some cause to dispense with this vehicle 
and to unite in definite external shapes. 

But also all kinds of matter, which have been 
kept in a fluid state by heat, and have become solid 
by cooling, show internally, when fractured, a 
definite texture. This makes us judge that if their 
own weight or the disturbance of the air had not 
prevented it, they would also have exhibited on the 
outer surface their specifically peculiar shapes. This 
has been observed in some metals on their inner 
surface, which have been hardened externally by 
fusion but are fluid in the interior, by the drawing 
oft" the internal fluid and the consequent undisturbed 
crystallisation of the remainder. Many of these 
mineral crystallisations, such a.s spars, hematite, 
arragonite. etc.. often present beautiful shapes, the 
like of which art can only conceive ; and the halo 
in the cavern of Antiparos ' is merely produced by 
water trickling down strata of gypsum. 

The fluid state is, to all appearance, older than 
the solid state, and plants as well as animal bodies 
are fashioned out of fluid nutritive matter, so far 
as this forms itself in a state of rest. This last of 
course primarily combines and forms itself in freedom 
according to a certain original tlisposilion directed 
towards purposes (which, as will be shown in Part 
II., must not be judged aesthetically but teleo- 
logically according to the principle of realism). 

^ [.\T]tip:iro5 )!i A sm.!)! iiiland in the Cyctades, remarkable for a 
splendid stalactite cavern near tlie south coast.] 




hut also perhaps in conformity with the universal 
law of the affinity of materials. Again, the watery 
fluids dissolved in an atmosphere that is a mixture 
of different gases, if they separate from the latter 
on account of cooling, produce snow figures, which 
in correspondence with the character of the special 
mixture of gases, often seem very artistic and are 
extremely beautiful. So, without detracting from 
the teleological principle by which we judge of 
organisation, we may well think that the beauty of 
flowers, of the plumage of birds, or of shell-fish, ' 
both in shape and colour, may be ascribed to nature 
and its faculty of producinj^ forms in an aesthetically 
purposive way, in its freedom, without particular 
purposes adapted thereto, according to chemical 
laws by the arrangement of the material requisite 
for the organisation in question. 

Hut what shows the principle of the Ideality of 

' the purposiveness in the beauty of nature, as that 
which we always place at the basis of an eesthetical 
judgment, and which allows us to employ, as a 
ground of explanation for our representative faculty, 
no realism of purpose, is the fact that in judging 

I beauty we invariably seek its -gauge in ourselves 
a priori, and that our aesthetical Judgment is itselfj 
legislative in respect of the judgment whether 
anything is beautiful or not. This could not- be, on 
the assumption of the Realism of the purposivenessj 
of nature ; because in that case we must have 

I learned from nature what we ought to find beautiful, 
and the aesthctical judgment would be subjected to 
empirical principles. For in such an act of judging 
the important point is /lot, what nature is, or even, 
as a purpose, is in relation to us. but how we take 
it There would be an objective purposiveness in 

Tttv. n I $8 



nature if it had fashioned its forms for our satis- 
faction ; and not a subjective purposiveness which 
depended upon the play of the Imagination in its 
freedom, where it is we who receive nature with! < 
favour, not nature which shows us favour. The" 
property of nature that gives us occasion to per- 
ceive the inner purposiveness in the relation of our 
mental faculties in judging certain of its products 
— a purposiveness which is to be explained on 
supersensible grounds as necessary and universal — 
cannot be a natural purpose or be judged by us as 
such : for otherwise the judgment hereby determined 
.would not be free, and would have at its basis 
heteronomy. and not, as beseems a judgment of 
taste, autonomy. 

In beautiful Art t^^ prinrlplf^ .^f t\rxc \(\.'oXyf^rv\ of 

)Osivenes s js still cle arer. As in the case of 
le beautiful in Nature an cesthetical Realism of this 
purposiveness cannot be perceived by sensations 
(for then the art would be only pleasant, not beauti- 
ful). But that the satisfaction produced by eesthetical 
Ideas must not depend on the attainment of definite 
purposes (as in meclianically designed art), and that 
consequently, in the very rationalism of the principle, 
the ideality of the purposes and not their reality 
must be fundamental, appears from the fact that 
beautiOil Art, as such, must not be considered as a 
product of Understanding and Science, but of Genius, 
and therefore must get its rule through ttslhctual 
Ideas, which are essentially different from rational 
^ Ideas of definite purposes. 

Just as the ideality of the objecLs of sense as 
phenomena is the only way of explaining the possi- 
bility of their forms being susceptible of a priori 
determination, so the idealism of purposiveness, in 




judging the beautiful in nature and art, is the only 
hypothesis under which Kritik can explain the 
possibility of a judgment of taste which demands 
a prion validity for every one (without grounding 
on concepts the purposiveness that is represented in 
the Object). 

§ 59- Of Beauty as tiu symbol of Morality 

Intuitions are always required to establish the 
reality of our concepts. If the concepts are empiri- 
cal, the intuitions are called examples. If they are 
pure concepts of Understanding, the intuitions are 
called schemata. I f we desire to establish the 
objective reality of rational concepts, i.e. of Ideas, 
on behalf of theoretical cognition, then we are asking 
for something impossible, because absolutely no 
intuition can be given which shall be adequate to 

All hypoiyposis (presentation, subjcdio sub ad- 
spcctum), or sensible illustration, is twofold. It is 
cither schematical, when to a concept comprehended 
by the Understanding the corrcsiK>ndlng intuition is 
given ; or it is symbolical. In the latter case to a 
concept only thinkable by the Reason, to which no 
sensible intuition can be adequate, an intuition is 
supplied with which accords a procedure of the judg- 
ment analogous to what it observes in schematism. 
i.e. merely analogous to the rule of this procedure, 
not to the intuition itself, consequently to the form 
of reflection merely and not to its content. 

There is a use of the woi^d symbolical that has 
been adopted by modem logicians, which is mis- 
leading and incorrect, i.c, to speak of the symbolical 
mode of representation as if it were opposed to the 

niv. II 1 59 



iniuilivc ; far the symlxilical is only a mode of the 
intuitive. The latter {the intuitive), that is, may 
be divided into the scltcmatical and the symboHcal 
modes of representation. Both are hypotyposes, i.e. 
presentations {exhibUiones) ; not mere clmractcrisa- 
fiofis, or tlesignations of concepts by accompanying 
sensible signs which contain nothing belonging to 
the intuition of ihc Object, and only serve as a 
means for reproducing the concepts, according to 
the law of association of the Imagination, and con- 
sequently in a subjective point of view. These are 
either words, or visible (algebraical, even mimetical) 
signs, as mere expressions for concepts.' 

AH intuitions, which we supply to concepts a 
priori, are therefore either scftcmata or symbols, of v. 
which the former contain direct, the latter indirect, 
presentations of the concept. The former do this 
demonstratively ; the latter by means of an analogy 
(for which we avail ourselves even of empirical 
intuitions) in which the Judgment exercises a double 
function; first applying the concept to the object 
-of a sensible intuition, and then applying the mere 
rule of the rcdection made upon that intuition to a 
quite different object of which the first is only the 
symbol.* Thus a monarchical state is represented 
by a living body, if it is governed by national 
laws, and by a mere machine (like a hand-mill) if 
governed by an individual absolute will ; but in both 
cases only symboHcaUy. For between a des[x>tic 
state and a hand-mill there is, to be sure, no similar- 
ity ; but there is a similarity in the rules according 

' The imuitive in cognitinn must be opposed to the discursive 
(not to the symbolical). The fomicr is cither .u/iiinaticai, by dano/i' 
stration ; or symbolical, as a reprcscnlalion in accordance with a 
mere anajo^. 





these two thi 

inc! their 

to which we reflect upon tnese two tnings ai 
causality. This matter has not been sufficiently ana- 
lysed hitherto, for it deserves a deeper investigation ; 
but this is not the place to linger over it. Our 
language [/.c. Germanl is full of indirect presenta- 
tions of this sort, in which the expression does not 
contain the proper schema for the concept, but 
merely a symbol for reflection. Thus the words 
ground (support, basis), io depend (to be held up from m 
above), toy?iW from something (instead of, to follow), " 
sitdstanee (as Locke expresses it, the support of 
accidents), and countless others, are not schematical ■ 
but symbolical hypotj'poses and expressions for con- 
cepts, not by means of a direct intuition, but only 
^by analogy with it, i.e. by the transference of reflec- 
tion upon an object of intuition to a quite diflTerent 
concept to which perhaps an intuition can never 
directly correspond. If we are to give the name of 
cognition to a mere mode of representation (which. 
is quite permissible if the latter is not a principle ofj 
the theoretical determination of what an object is in 
itself, but of the practical determination of what the 
Idea of it should be for us and for its purposive use), 
then all our knowledge of God is merely symbolical ; 
and he who regards it as schematical, along with the 
properties of Understanding, Will, etc., which only 
establish their objective reality in beings of this 
world, falls into Anthropomorphism, just as he who 
gives up ever)' intuitive element falls into Deism, by 
which nothing at all is cognised, not even 
practical point of view. 

Now I say the Beautiful is the symbol of the 
morally Good, and that it is only in this respect (a 
reference which is natural to every man and which 
every man postulates in others as a duty) that 

m a 

DIV. II t S9 



gives pleasure with a claim for the agreement of 
every one else. By this the mind is made conscious 
of a certain ennoblement and elevation above the 
mere sensibility to plc^isure received through sense, 
and the worth of others is estimated in accordance 
with a like maxim of their Judgment. That is the 
intxiligible^ to which, as pointed out in the preceding 
paragraph, Taste looks ; with which our higher 
cognitive faculties are in accord ; and without which 
a downright contradiction would arise between their 
nature and the claims made by taste. In this 
faculty the Judgment does not see itself, as in empiri- 
cal judging, subjected to a heteronomy of empirical 
laws ; it gives the law to itself in respect of the 
objects of so pure a satisfaction, just as the Reason 
does in respect of the faculty of desire. Hence, 
both on account of this inner possibility in the 
subject and of the external possibility of a nature 
that agrees with it, it finds itself to be referred to 
something within the subject as well as without him, 
something which is neither nature nor freedom, but 
which yet is connected with the supersensible ground 
of the latter. In this supersensible ground, there- 
fore, the theoretical faculty is bound together in 
unity with the practical, in a way which though 
common is yet unknown. We shall indicate some 
points of this analogy, wni]e at the same time we 
shall note the differences. 

(i) The beautiful pleases immediately (but only 
in reflective intuition> not, like moriUity. in its 
concept), (2) It pleases apart from any interest 
(the morally good is indeed necessarily bound up 
with an interest, though not with one which precedes 
the judgment upon the satisfaction, but with one 
which is first of all produced by it). (3) The 

-f^— ' 





freedom of the Imagination (and therefore of tht 
sensibility of our racuity) is represented in judging 
the beautiful as harmonious with the conformity l( 
law of the Understandings (in the moral judgment 
the freedom of the will is thought as the harmony o{h 
the latter with itself according to universal laws ofl 
Reason). (4) The subjective principle in judging 
the beautiful is represented as uitiversal. i.e. as vali 
for ever>* man. though not cognisable through an 
universal concept (The objective principle of moral 
ity is also expounded as universal, ue. for every 
subject and for every action of the same subject, ancfl 
thus as cognisjible by means of a universal concept). 
Hence the moral judgment is not only susceptible of 
definite constitutive principles, but is possible oniy byf 
grounding its maxims on these in their universality. 
A reference to this analogy is usual even with 
the common Understanding [of men], and we often^ 
describe beautiful objects of nature or art by name^ 
that seem to put a moral appreciation at their basis. 
We call buildings or trees majestic and magnificent, 
landscapes laughing and gay ; even colours are 
called innocent, modest, tender, because they excite 
sensations which have something analogous to thef 
consciousness of the state of mind brought about 
by moral judgments. Taste makes possible the 
transition, without any violent leap, from the char 
of Sense to habitual moral interest ; as it represen 
the Imagination in its freedom as capable of pur- 
posive determination for the Understanding, and so 
teaches us to find even in objects of sense a 
satisfaction apart from any charm of sense. 



Arl'KNDlX I 60 

j4RT T£ACm/VC 



§ 60. Of ihe method of Taste 

The division of a Kriiik into Elementology 
and Methodology, as prepariuor)' to science, is 
not applicable to the Kritik of taste, because there 
neither is nor can be a science of the Beautiful, 
and the judgment of taste is not determinable by 
means of principles. As for the scientific element 
in every art, which regards Iruth in the presentation 
of its Object, this is indeed the indispensable 
condition {conditio sine qua nmi) of beautiful art, 
but not bcauiiftil art itself. There is therefore for 
beautiful art only a mattner (modus), not a method 
of teaching (methodus). • The master must show 
what the pupil is to do and how he is to do it ; and 
the universal rules, under which at last he brings 
his procedure, serve rather for bringing the main 
points back to his remembrance when occasion 
requires, than for prescribing them to him. Never- 
theless regard niuKi be had here to a certain ideal, 
which art must have before its eyes, although it 
cannot be completely attained in practice. It is 
only through exciting the Imagination of the pupil 
to accordance with a given concept, by making him 
note the inadequacy of the expression for the Idea, 
to which the concept itself does not attain because 
it is an aesthetical Idea, and by severe Kritik. that 
he can be prevented from taking the examples set 
before him as types and models for imitation, to 
be subjected to no higher standard or independent 
judgment. It is thus that genius, and with it the 
freedom of the Imagination, is stifled by its very 




conformity to law ; and without these no beautifi 
art, and not even an accurately judging individu 
taste, is possible. 

The propaedeutic to all beautiful art, regarded in 
the highest degree of its [jerfcction, seems to lie, 
not in precepts, but in the culture of the mental 
powers by means of those elements of knowledge 
called hnmaniora, probably because humanity on thd 
one side indicates the universal fetling of sympathy^ 
and on the other the faculty of being able to com- 
municate universally our inmost [feelings], Fon 
these properties taken together constitute the charac- 
teristic social spirit ' of humanit)' by which it is 
distintruished from the limitations of animal life. 
The age aftd peoples, in which the impulse towards 
a iaiv-abiding social life, by which a people becomes 
a permanent community, contended with the greiit 
difficulties presented by the difficult problem of 
uniting freedom (and equality) with compulsio 
(rather of respect and submission from a sense o: 
duty than of fear) — such an age and such a people 
naturally first found out the art of reciprocal com- 
munication of Ideas between the cultivated an 
uncultivated classes and thus discovered how t 
harmonise the large-mindcdncss and refinement of 
the former \Mith the natural simplicity and origin- 
ality of the latter. In this way they first found that 
mean between the higher culture and simple nature 
which furnishes that true standard for taste as a 
sense universal to all men which no general rules 
can supply. 

With difficulty will a later age dispense with 
those models, because it will be always farthe 

' [I read GeitlligkeU with Rownkram ; Hartenstcin and Kirch- 
mann have Cluci.'icligkdt.'] 



from nature ; and in fine, without having permanent 
examples before it, a concept will hardly be possible, 
in one and the same people, of the happy union of 
the law-abiding constraint of the highest culture with 
the force and truth of free nature which feels its own 
proper worth. 

/ Now taste is at bottom a faculty for judging of 
the sensible illustration of moral Ideas (by means 
of a certain analogy involved in our reflection upon 
both these) ; and it is from this faculty also and 
from the greater susceptibility grounded thereon 
for the feeling arising from the latter (called moral 
feeling), that that pleasure is derived which taste 
regards as valid for mankind in general and not 
merely for the private feeling of each. Hence 
it appears plain that the true propaedeutic for the_ 
foundation of taste is the development of moral 
Ideas and the culture of the moral feeling; because 
it is only when sensibility is brought into agreement 
with this that genuine taste can assume a definite 
invariable form. 



§ 6 1. Of the objective purposiveness of Nature 

We have on transcendental principles good 
ground to assume a subjective purposiveness in 
nature, in its particular laws, in reference to its 
comprehensibility by human Judgment and to the 
ppossibility of the connection of particular experiences 
in a system. This may be expected as possible in 
many products of nature, which, as if they were 
established quite specially for our Judgment, contain 
a specific form conformable thereto, which through 
their nianifoldness and unity serve at once to 
strengthen and to sustain the n^ental powers (that 
come into play in the employment of this facult>'), 
and to these we therefore give the name di beautiful 

But that the things of nature serve one another 
as means to purposes, and that their possibility is 
only completely intelligible through this kind of 
causality — for this we have absolutely no ground in 
the universal Idea of nature, as the complex of the 
objects of sense. In the above-mentioned case, the' 
representation of things, because It is something in 
ourselves, can be quite well thought a priori as 
suitable and useful for the internally puqjosive 
determination of our cognitive faculties ; but that 
purposes, which neither are cur own nor belong to 
nature (for we do not regard nature as an intelligent 




being), could or should constitute a particular kind of^ 
causality, at least a quite special confonnity to lawj| 
— this we have absolutely no a priori reason for 
presuming. Yet more, experience itself cannot prove 
to us the actuality of" this; there must then have 
preceded a rationalising subtlet)' which only sport- 
ively introduces the concept of purpose into the 
nature of things, but which does not derive it from 
Objects or from their empirical cognition. To this 
latter it is of more service to make nature compre- 
hensible according to analogy with the subjective^ 
ground of the connection of our representations, 
than to cognise it from objective grounds. 

Further, objective purposiveness, as a principle 
of the possibility of things of nature, is so far re^ 
moved from necessary connection with the concept 
of nature, that it is much oftener precisely that upon 
which one relies to prove the contingency of nature 
and of its form. When, c^., we adduce the struc- 
ture of a bird, the hollowness of its bones, the 
disposition of its wings for motion and of its tail for 
steering, etc., we say that all this is contingent in the 
highest degree according to the mere fuxus ejfectivus 
of nature, without calling in the aid of a particular 
kind of causality, namely that of purpose {nexus 
Jina/is). In other words, nature, considered as mere 
mechanism, can produce its forms in a thousands 
different ways without stumbling upon unity in ac- 
cordance with such a principle. It is not in the 
concept of nature but quite apart from it that wi 
can hope to find the least ground a priori for this. 

Nevertheless the ideological act of judgment is 
rightly brought lo bear, at least problematically,— 
upon the investigation of nature : but only in orderB 
to bring it under principles of observation and 





inquiry according to the analogy with the causality 
of purpose, without any pretence to ixplain it lliere- 
by. It belongs therefore to the reflective and not 
to the determinant judgment. The concept of com- 
binations and forms of nature in accordance with 
purposes is then at least otic principle more for 
bringing its phenomena under rules where the laws 
of simply mechanical causality do not suffice. For 
we bring in a teleological ground, where we attribute 
causality in respect of an Object to the concept of 
an Object, as if it were to be found in nature (not 
in ourselves) ; or rather when we represent to our- 
selves the possibility of the Object after the analogy 
of that causalit}^ which we experience in ourselves, 
and consequently think nature technically as through 
a special faculty. If, on the other hand, we did not 
ascribe to it such a method of action, its causality 
would have to be represented as blind mechanism. 
If. on the contrary, we supply to nature causes acting 
dcsipiediy, and consequently place at its basis teleo- 
logy, not merely as a re^u/afive principle for the 
mere/wf^/w^ of phenomena, to which nature can be 
thought as subject in its particular laws, but as a 
constitutive principle of the derivation of its products 
from their causes ; then would the concept of a 
natural puriiose no longer belong to the reflective 
but to the determinant Judgment. Then, in fact, it 
would not belong specially to the Judgment (like 
the concept of beauty regarded as formal subjective 
purposiveness), but as a rational concept it would 
introduce into a natural science a new causality, 
which we only borrow from ourselves and ascribe 
to other beings, without meaning to assume them 
to be of the same kind with ourselves. 



§ 62. Of the objective ptirposiveness ivhich is merely 
formal as disiinguislied from tlrni which is material 

All geometrical figiircs drawn on a principle 
display a manifold, oft admired, objective purposive- 
ness ; i.e. in reference to their usefulness for the 
solution of several problems by a single principle, 
or of the same problem in an infinite variety of 
ways. The purposiveness is here obviously ob- 
jective and intellectual, not merely subjective and 
a;sthetical. For it expresses the suitability of the 
figure for the production of many intended figures, 
and is cognised through Reason. But this pur- 
posiveness does not make the concept of the object 
itself possible, i.e. it is not regarded as possible 
merely with reference to this use. 

In so simple a figure as the circle lies the key 
to the solution of a multitude of problems, each of 
which would demand various appliances ; whereas 
their solution results of itself, as it were, as one of 
the infinite number of excellent properties of this 
figure. Are we, for example, asked to construct a 
triangle, being given the base and vertical angle ? 
The problem is indeterminate, i.e. it can be solved 
in an infinite number of ways. But the circle 
embraces ihem all together as the geometrical locus 

DIV. I I 62 



of the vertices of triangles satisfying the given 
conditions. Again, suppose that two lines are to 
cut one another so that the rectangle under the 
segments of the one should be equal to the rect- 
angle under the segments of the other ; the solution 
of the problem from this point of view presents 
much difficulty. But all chords intersecting inside 
a circle divide one another in thhproporiion. Other 
curved lines suggest other purposive solutions of 
which nothing was thought in the rule that furnished 
their construction. All conic sections in themselves 
and when compared with one another are fruitful 
in principles for the solution of a number of possible 
problems, however simple is the definition which 
determines their concept. — It is a true joy to see 
tlie zeal with which the old geometers investigated 
the properties of lines of this class, without allowing 
themselves to be led astray by the questions of nar- 
row minded persons, as to what use this knowledge 
would be. Thus they worked out the properties of 
the parabola without knowing the law of gravitation, 
which would have suggested to them its application 
to the trajectory of heavy bodies {for the motion of 
a heavy body can be seen to be parallel to the curve 
of a parabola). Again, they found out the properties 
of an ellipse without surmising that any of the 
heavenly bodies had weight and without knowing 
the law of force at different distances from the point 
of attraction, which causes it to describe this curve 
in free motion. While they thus unconsciously 
worked for the science of the future, they delighted 
themselves with a purposiveness in the [essential] 
being of things which yet they were able to present 
completely a priori in its necessity. Plato, himself 
master of this science, hinted at such an original 




constitution of things in the iliscover)* of which we 
can dispense with aJI experience, and at the power 
of the mind to produce from its supersensible prin- 
ciple the harmony of beings (where the propcrtit 
of number come in, with which the mind plays in"' 
music). This [he touches upon] in the inspiration 
that raised him above the concepts of experience to 
Ideas, which seem to him to be explicable only 
through an intellectual affinity with the origin of all 
l>eings. No wonder that he banished from his 
school the man who was ignorant of geometry, since 
he thought he could derive from pure intuition, 
which has its home in the human spirit, that which 
Anaxagoras drew from empirical objects and their 
purposive combination. For in the very necessity 
of that which is purposive, and is constituted just as 
if it were designedly intended for our use,— but at 
the same time seems to belong originally to the 
being of things without any reference to our use — 
lies the ground of our great admiration of nature, 
and that not so much external as in our own Reason. 
It is surely excusable that this admiration should 
through misunderstanding gradually rise to the 
height of fanaticism. 

But this intellectual purposiveness. although no 
doubt objective (not subjective like sesthelical 
purposiveness), is in reference to its possibility 
merely formal (not real). It can only be conceived 
as purposiveness in general without any [definite] 
purpose being assumed as its basis, and consequently 
without teleology being needed for it. The figure of 
a circle is an intuition which is determined by means 
of the Understanding according to a principle. 
The unity of this principle which I arbitrarily 
assume and use as fundamental concept, applied to 

DIV. 1 « 62 



a form of intuition (space) which is met with in 
myself as a representation and yet a priori, renders 
intelligible the unity of many rules resulting from 
the construction of that concept, which are purposive 
for many possible designs. Hut this purposiveness 
does not imply a purpose or any other ground what- 
ever. It is quite different if I meet with order and 
regularity in complexes of thiitgs. external to my- 
self, enclosed within certain boundaries ; as, e.g., in 
a garden, the order and reguliirtty of the trees, 
flower-beds, and walks. These I cannot expect to 
derive a priori from my bounding of space made 
after a rule of my own ; for this order and regularity 
are existing things which must be given empirically 
in order to be known, ami not a mere representation 
in myself determined a priori according to a prin- 
ciple. So then the latter (empirical) purposiveness, 
as reai, is dependent on the concept of a purpose. 

But the ground of admiration for a perceived 
purposiveness. although it be in the being of things 
(so far as their concepts can be constructed), may 
be very well involved and apprehended as rightful. 
The manifold rules whose unity (derived from a 
principle) excites admiration, are all synthetical and 
do not follow from the concept of the Object as in 
the case of the circle : but require this Object to 
be given in intuition. Hence this unity gets the 
appearance of having empirically an external basis 
of rules distinct from our representative faculty ; as 
if therefore the correspondence of the Object to that 
need of rules which is proper to the Understanding 
were contingent in itself, and therefore only possible 
by means of a purpose expressly directed thereto. 
Now because this harmony, notwithstanding all this 
purposiveness, is not cognised empirically but a 



priori, it should bring us of itself to this point- 
that space, through whose determination (by means] 
of the Imagination, in accordance with a concept)) 
the Object is alone possible, is not a characteristic 
of things external to me, but a mere mode of repre- 
sentation in myself. Hence, in the figure which ij 
draw in conformity with a concept, i,e. in my own^ 
mode of representing that which is given to me 
externally, whatever it may be in Itself, /'/ is I that 
introditcc l/te purposivcntss \ I get no empirical in- 
struction from the Object about the purposiveness^fl 
and so 1 require in it no pariiciilar purpose external 
to myself, but because this consideration already 
calls for a critical employment of Reason, and con- 
sequently cannot be involved in the judging of thefl 
Object according to its properties ; so this latter 
[judging] suggests lo me immediately nothing but 
the unification of heterogeneous rules (even accord-' 
ing to their very diversity) in a principle. This 
principle, without requiring any particular a prioriX 
basis external to my concept, or indeed, generally 
speaking, to my representation, is yet cognised 
a priori by me as true. Now wonder is a shock ol 
the mind arising from the incompatibility' of a] 
representation, and the rule given by its means, 
with the principles already lying at its basis ; which 
provokes a doubt as to whether we have rightly 
seen or rightly judged. Admiration, however, isJ 
wonder which ever recurs, despite the disappearance' 
of this doubt. Consequently the latter is a quite | 
natural effect of that observed purposiveness in thej 
being of things (as phenomena). It cannot indeed^ 
be censured, whilst the unification of the form of] 
sensible intuition (space) — with the faculty of con- 
cepts (the Understanding) — is inexplicable to us;j 

DIV, I I 62 



and that not only on account of the union being 
just of the kind that it is, but because it is en- 
larging for the mind to surmise [the existence of] 
something lying outside our sensible representations 
in which, although unknown to us, the ultimate 
ground of that agreement may be met with. We 
are, it is true, not necessitated to cognise this if we 
have only to do with the formal purposiveness of 
our representations ; but the fact that we are com- 
pelled to look out beyond it inspires at the same 
time an admiration for the object that impels us 

We are accustomed to speak of the already 
mentioned properties of geometrical figures or of 
numbers as beautiful, on account of a certain a priori 
purposiveness they have for all kinds of cognitive 
uses, this purposiveness being quite unexpected on 
account of the simplicity of the construction. We 
speak, e.g., of this or that beautiful property of the 
circle, which was discovered in this or that way. 
But there is no aesthetical act of judgment through 
which we find it purposive, no act of judgment with- 
out a concept which renders noticeable a mere 
subjective purposiveness in the free play of our 
cognitive faculties ; but an intellectual act according 
to concepts which enables us clearly to cognise an 
objective purposiveness, i.e. availableness for all 
kinds of (infinitely manifold) purposes. We must 
rather call this relative perfection than a beauty of 
the mathematical figure. To speak thus of an in- 
tellectual beauty cannot in general be permissible ; 
for otherwise the word beauty would lose all de- 
terminate significance or the intellectual satisfaction 
all superiority over the sensible. We should rather 
call a demonstration of such properties beautiful, 




because through it the Understanding as the faculty 
of concepts, and the Imagination as the faculty of 
presenting them, feel themselves strengthened a 
prion. (This, when viewed in connection with the 
precision introduced by Reason, is spoken of as 
elegant.) Here, however, the satisfaction, although 
it is based on concepts, is subjective ; while per- 
fection brings with itself an objective satisfaction. 

§ 63. Of the relative as distinguislud from the 
inner purposivemss of nature 

Experience leads our Judgment to the concept of 
an objective and material purposiveness, i.e. to the 
concept of a purpose of nature, only when ' we have 
to judge of a relation of cause to effect which we 
find ourselves able to apprehend as legitimate only 
by presupposing the Idea of the effect of the 
causality of the cause as the fundamental condi- 
tion, in the cause, of the possibility of the effect. 
This can take place in two ways. We may regard 
ihe effect directly as an art product, or only as 
material for the art of other possible natural beings ; 
in other words, either as a purpose or as a means 
towards the purposive employment of other causes. 
This latter purjwsiveness is called utility (for man) 
or mere advantage (for other creatures), and is 
merely relative : while the former is an inner pur- 
posiveness of the natural being. 

For example, rivers bring down with them all 
kinds of earth serviceable for the growth of plants 

1 As in pure malbematic wc can never talk of tbe existence, but 
ooUy of ihe possibitity of things, vit of au iotaitioo corresponding to 
tl concept, and so ne\-er of rause and eAcct, it follows that all 
poiposiveoess ob&ened there must be considered merely as formal 
and never a$ a natural purpcnc. 

DIV. I I 63 



which sometimes is deposited inland, often also at 
their mouths. The tide brings this mud to many 
coasts over the land or deposits it on the shore ; 
and so, more especially if men give their aid so 
that the ebb shall not carry it back again, the fruit- 
bearing land increases in area, and the vegetable 
kingdom gains the place which formerly was the 
habitation of fish and shells. In this way has nature 
Itself brought about most of the extensions of the 
land, and still continues to do so, although very 
slowly. — Now the question is whether this is to 
be judged a purpose of nature, because it contains 
profit for men. We cannot put it down to the account 
of the vegetable kingdom, because just as much is 
subtracted from sea-life as is added to land-life. 

Or, to give an example of the advantageousness 
of certain natural things as means for other creatures 
(if we suppose them to be means), no soil is more 
suitable to pine trees than a sandy soil. Now the 
deep sea, before it withdrew from the land, left 
behind large tracts of sand in our northern regions, 
so that on this soil, so unfavourable for all cultiva- 
tion, widely extended pine forests were enabled to 
grow, for the unreasoning destruction of which 
we frequently blame our ancestors. We may ask if 
this original deposit of tracts of sand was a purpose 
of nature for the benefit of the possible pine forests ? 
So much is clear, that if we r^ard this as a pur- 
pose of nature, we must also regard the sand as a 
relative purpose, in reference to which the ocean 
strand and its withdrawal were means : for in the 
series of the mutually subordinated members of a 
purposive combination, every member must be 
regarded as a purpose (though not as a final 
purpose), to which its proximate cause is the means. 



PART in 

So too if cattle, sheep, horses, etc., are to ex 
there must be grass on the earth, but there must 
also be saline plants in the desert if camels are to 
thrive ; and again these and other herbivorous _ 
animals must be met with in numbers if there are| 
to be wolves, tigers, and lions. Consequently the 
objective purposiveness, which is based upon ad- 
vantage, is not an objective purposiveness of 
tilings in themselves ; as if the sand could not be 
conceived for itself as an effect of a cause, viz. the 
sea, without attributing to the latter a purpose, and 
regarding the effect, namely the sand, as a work of 
art. It is a merely relative purposiveness contin- 
gent upon the thing lo which it is ascribed ; and 
although in the examples we have cited, the dif- 
ferent kinds of grass are to be judged as in 
themselves organised products of nature, and con- 
sequently as artificial, yet are they to be regarded, 
in reference to the beasts which feed upon them, as 
mere raw material. 

But above all. though man, through the freedom 
of his causality, finds certain natural things of 
advantage for his designs — designs often foolish, 
such as using the variegated plumage of birds to 
adorn his clothes, or coloured earths and the juices 
of plants for painting his face : often again reason- 
able as when the horse is used for riding, the ox or 
(as in Minorca) the ass or pig for ploughing — yet 
we cannot even here assume a relative natural pur- 
pose. For his Reason knows how to give things 
a conformity with his own arbitrary* fancies for which fl 
he was not at all predestined by nature. Only. {/ 
we assume that men are to live upon the earth, then 
the means must be there without which they could 
not exist as animals, and even as rational animals 

DIV. I I 63 



(in however low a degree of rationality) : and there- 
upon those natural things, which are indispensable in 
this regard, must be considered as natural purposes. 

We can hence easily see that externa] purpos- 
iveness (advantage of one thing in respect of others) 
can be regarded as an external natural purpose only 
under the condition, that the existence of that 
[being], 10 which it is immediately or distantly 
advantageous, is in itself a purpose of nature. 
Since that can never be completttly determined by 
mere contemplation of nature, it 'follows that rela- 
tive purposiveness, although it hypothetically gives 
indications of natural purposes, yet justifies no ab- 
solute teleological judgment. 

Snow in cold countries protects the crops from 
the frost ; it makes human intercourse easier (by 
means of sleighs). The Laplander finds in his 
country animals by whose aid this intercourse is 
brouglit about, i.e. reindeer, who find sufficient 
sustenance in a dry moss which they have to 
scratch out for themselves from under the snow, 
and who are easily tamed and readily permit them- 
selves to be deprived of that freedom in which they 
could have remained if they chose. For other 
people in the same frozen regions marine animals 
afford rich stores ; in addition to the food and 
clothing which are thus supplied, and the wood 
which is floated in by the sea to their dwellings, 
these marine animals j^rovide material for fuel by 
which their huts are warmed. Here is a wonderful 
concurrence of many references of nature to one 
purpose ; and all this applies to the cases of the 
Grecnlander. the Lapp, the .Samoyede, the inhabit- 
ant of Yakutsk, etc. But then we do not see why, 
generally, men must live there at all. Therefore to say 




that vapour falls out of the atmosphere in the form of 
snow, that the sea has its currents which float down 
wood that has grown in warmer lands, and that 
thcrt^ are in it great sea monsters filled with oil. 
bfcaitse the idea of advantage for certain poor 
creatures is fundamental for the cause which collects 
all these natural products, would be a very ven- 
turesome and arbitrary judgment. For even if there 
were none of this natural utility, we should miss 
nothing as regards the adequateness of natural 
causes to [nian'sj constitution ; much more even to 
desire such a tendency in, and to attribute such a 
purpose lo, nature would be tin; |>art of a presump- 
tuous and inconsiderate fancy. Vox indeed it might 
be observed that it could only have been the greatest 
want of harmony among men which thus scattered 
them into such inhospitable regions. 

§ 64. Of the peculiar character of things as 
natiira I purposes 

In order to see that a thing is only possible as a 
purpose^ that is to be forced to seek the causality of 
its origin not in the mechanism of nature but in a 
cause whose faculty of action is determined tlirougli 
concepts, it is requisite that its form be not possible 
according to mere natural laws, i.e. laws which can 
be cognised by us through the Understanding alone 
when applied to objects of Sense ; but that even the 
empirical knowledge of it as regards its cause and 
effect presupposes concepts of Reason. This con- 
tingency of Its form in all empirical natural laws in 
reference to Reason atTords a ground for regarding 
its causality as possible only through Reason. For 
Reason, which must cognise the necessity of every 

DIV. I I 64 



form of a natural product in order to comprehend 
even the conditions of its genesis, cannot assume 
such [natural] necessity in that particular given form. 
The causality of its origin is then referred to the 
faculty of acting in accordance with purix)ses (a 
will); and the Object which can only thus be re- 
presented as possible is represented as a purpose. 

If in a seemingly uninhabited country a man 
perceived a geometrical figure, say a regular hexagon, 
inscribed on the sand, his retlcction busied with such 
a concept would attribute, although obscurely, the 
unity in the principle of its genesis to Reason, and 
consequently would not regard as a ground of the 
possibility of such a shape the sand, or the neigh- 
bouring sea, or the winds, or beasts with familiar 
footprints, or any other irrational cause. For the 
chance against meeting with such a concept, which is 
only possible through Reason, would seem so 
Infinitely great, that it would be just as if there were 
no natural law, no cause in the mere mechanical 
working of nature capable of producing it ; but as 
if only the concept of such an Object, as a concept 
which Reason alone can supply and with which it 
can compare the thing, could contain the causality 
for such an effect. This then would be regarded as 
a purpose, but as a product of art, not as a natural 
purpose {vestig^ium hominis video)} 

But in order to regard a thing cognised as a 
natural product as a purpose also— consequently as a 
uatural purpose, if this is not a contradiction — some- 
thing more is required. I would say provisionally : 

p The allusion t& 10 Vtmivius de Arckiieciura, Bk. vi, Praef. 
"Ariiitippus philosophus Socraticus naufragio rum ejcctus ad KhodJ* 
eniium lilus animadvertis^et geometrica schemata dcscripia, cxclani- 
avissc ad comites ita diciiur, Utne speremus, hominum ehim vcsli^a 



PAST 11 

a thing exists as a natural purpose, if it is [although 
in a double sense] ' both cause and effect of itself. 
For herein lies a causality the like of which cannot 
be combined with the mere concept of a nature with- 
out attributing to it a purpose; it can certainly l^e 
thought without contradiction, but cannot be com- 
prehended. We shall elucidate the determination 
of this Idea of a natural purpose by an example, 
before we analyse it completely. 

In the first place, a tree generates another tree 
according to a known natural law. But the tree 
produced is of the same genus ; and so it produces 
itself genericaily. On the one hand, as effect it is 
continually self-produced ; on the other hand, as 
cause it continually produces itself, and so perpetuates 
itself genericaily. 

Secondly, a tree produces itself as an indivuiual. 
This kind of effect no doubt we call growth ; but 
it is quite different from any increase according to 
mechanical laws, and is to be reckoned as generation, 
though under another name. The matter that the 
tree incorporates it previously works up into a speci- 
fically peculiar quality, which natural mechanism ex- 
ternal to it cannot supply ; and thus it develops itself 
by aid of a material which, as compounded, is its own 
product. No doubt, as regards the constituents got 
from nature without, rt must only be regarded as an 
educt ; but yet in the separation and recombination 
of this raw material we see such an originality in 
the separating and formative faculty of this kind of 
natural being, as is infinitely beyond the reach of art, 
if the attempt is made to reconstruct such vegetable 
products out of elements obtained by their dissection 
or material supplied by nature for their sustenance. 
* [Second Edition.] 

DIV. I t 65 



Thirdly, each part of a tree generates itself in 
such a way that the maintenance of any one part 
depends reciprocally on the maintenance of the rest. 
A bud of one tree engrafted on the twig of another 
produces in the alien stock a plant of its own kind, 
and so also a scion engrafted on a foreign stem. 
Hence we may regard each twig or leaf of the same 
tree as merely engrafted or inoculated into it, and 
so as an independent tree attached to another and 
parasitically nourished by it. At the same time, 
while the leaves are products of the tree they also in 
turn give support to it ; for the repeated di^foliation 
of a tree kills it, and its growth thus depends on 
the action of the leaves upon the stem. The self- 
help of nature in case of injury in the vegetable 
creation, when the want of a part that is necessary 
for the maintenance of its neighbours is supplied 
by the remaining parts ; and the abortions or mal- 
formations in growth, in which certain pans, on 
account of casual defects or hindrances, form them- 
selves in a new way to maintain what exists, and so 
produce an anomalous creature, I shall only mention 
in passing, though they are among the most won- 
derful properties of organised creatures. 

§ 65. Things regarded as natural purposes are 
organised beings 

According to the character alleged in the pre- 
ceding section, a thing, which, though a natural pro- 
duct, is to be cognised as only possible as a natural 
purpose, must bear itself alternately as cause and as 
effect This, however, is a somewhat inexact and 
indeterminate expression which needs derivation 
from a determinate concept. 




Causal combination as thought merely by the 
Understanding is a connection constitutinjj an ever- 
progressive series (of causes and effects) ; anti things 
which as effects presuppose others as causes cannot be 
reciprocally at the same time causes of these. This 
sort of causal combination we call that of effective 
causes {nexnts effedivus). But on the other hand, a 
causal combination according to a concept of Reason 
(of purposes) can also be thought, which regarded 
as a series would lead either forwards or backwards ; 
in this the thing that has been called the effect, 
may with equal propriety be termed the cause of 
that of which it is the effect. In the practical 
department of human art we easily find connections 
such as this ; e.g. a house, no doubt, is the cause of 
the money received for rent, but also conversely 
the representation of this possible income was the 
cause of building the house. Such a causal connec- 
tion we call that of final causes (nexus fivalis). We 
may perhaps suitably name the first the connection 
of real causes, the second of those which are ideal ; 
because from this nomenclature it is at once compre- 
licnded that there can be no more than these two 
kinds of causality. 

[ For a thing to be a natural purpose in y^ci^ first 

, place it is requisite that its parts (as regards their 

presence and their form) are only possible through 

I their reference to the whole. For the thing itself is 
a purpose and so is comprehended under a concept 
or an Idea which must determine a prioH all that 
is to be contained in iL But so far as a thing is 
only thought as possible in this way, it is a mere 
work of art ; i.e. a product of one rational cause 
distinct from the matter (of the parts), whose 
causality (in the collection and combination of the 

DIV. I I 65 



parts) is determined through Its Idea of a whole 
possible by their means (and consequently not 
through external nature). 

But if a thing as a natural product is to involve 
in itself and in its internal possibility a reference to 
purposes, — i.e. to be possible only as a natural pur- 
pose, and without the causality of the concepts of 
rational beings externa! to itself, — then it is requisite 
secondly that its parts should so combine in the unity 
of a whole that they are reciprocally cause and effect 1/i-^ - V* 
of each other's form. Only in this way can the Idea 
of the whole conversely (reciprocally) determine the 
form and combination of all the parts ; not indeed as 
cause — for then it would be an artificial product — 
but as the ground of cognition, for him who is 
judging it, of the systematic unity and combination 
of all the manifold conulned in the given material. 

For a body then which is to be judged in itself 
and its internal possibility as a natural purpose, it 
is requisite that its parts mutually depend upon eacii 
other both as to their form and iheir combination, 
and so produce a whole by their own causality ; 
while conversely the concept of the whole may be 
regarded as its cause according to a principle (in a 
being possessing a causality according to concepts 
adequate to such a product). In this case then the 
connection of effective causes may be judged as an 
effee/ through final causes. 

In such a product of nature every part not only 
exists by means of the other parts, but is thought as 
existing for the sake of the others and the whole, 
that is as an (organic) instrument. Thus, however, 
it might be an artificial instrument, and so might be 
represented only as a purpose that is possible in 
general ; but also its parts are all organs reciprocally 




producing each other. This can never be the case 
with artificial instruments, but only with nature which 
sLipphes all the material for instruments (even for 
those of art). Only a product of such a kind can 

,.be called a naiural purpose, and this because it is 

'an organised ^\i^ se if -organising being. 

In a watch one part is the instrument for moving 
the other parts, but the wheel is not the effective 
cause of the production of the others ; no doubt one 
part is for the sake of the others, but it docs not 
exist by their means. In this case the producing 
cause of the parts and of tlieir form is not contained 
in the nature (of the material), but is external to it in 
a being which can produce effects according to Ideas 
of a whole possible by means of its causality. Hence 
a watch wheel does not produce other wheels, still 
less does one watch produce other watches, utilising 
(organising) foreign material for that purpose; hence 
it does not replace of itself parts of which it has been 
deprived, nor does it make good what is lacking in 
a first formation by the addition of the missing parts, 
nor if it has gone out of order does it repair itself — 
all of which, on the contrary, we may expect from 
organised nature. — An organised being is then not 
a mere machine, for that has merely moving power, 
but it possesses in HsgU /ormaiive power of a self- 
propagating kind which it communicates to its 
materials though they have it not of themselves ; 
it organises them, in fact, and this cannot be ex- 
plained by the mere mechanical faculty of motion. 

We say of nature and its faculty in organised 
products far too little if we describe it as an anaiogott 
of art ; for this suggests an artificer (a rational being) 
external to it. Much rather does it organise itself 
and its organised products in every speciesj no doubt 

DIV. 1 I 65 



after one gfeneral pattern but yet with suitable devia- 
tions, which self-preservation demands according to 
circumstances. We perhaps approach nearer to this 
inscrutable property, if we describe it as an ana/ogan 
of life ; but then we must either endow matter, as 
mere matter, with a property which contradicts 
its very being (hylozoism), or associate therewith an 
alien principle standing in cmnmunioH with it (a 
soul). But in the latter case wc must, if such a 
product is to be a natural product, either presuppose 
organised matter as the instrument of that soul, 
which does not make the soul a whit more compre- 
hensible ; or regard the soul as artificer of this 
structure and so remove the product from (corporeal) 
nature. To speak strictly, then, the organisation of 
nature has in it nothing analogous to any causality 
we know.^ Beauty in nature can be rightly descri!)ed 
as an analogoii of art, because it is ascribed to objects 
only in reference to reflection upon their externai 
aspect, and consequently only on account of the 
form of their external surface. But internal natural 
perfection, as it belongs to those things which are 
only possible as natural purposes, and are therefore 
called organised beings, is not analogous to any 
physical, i.e. natural, faculty known to us ; nay even, 
regarding ourselves as, in the widest sense, belong- 

' We can conversely throw light upon a certain comhination, 
much more often met with in Idea than in .-ictitality, by means of an 
analogy to the so-called immediate natural purposes. In a recent 
complete transformation of a great people into a state the word 
organisation for the regulation of magistracies, etc., aJid even of the 
wliole body politic, has often been filly used. For in such a whole 
ever>' member should surely be purpose as well as means, and, whilst 
all work together towards the possibility of the whole, each should 
he determined as regards place and function by means of the lde;i 
of the whole. [Kant protrably alludes here to the organisation of 
the United States of America.] 




ing to nature, it is not even thinkable or explicable by 
means of any exactly fitting analo^i^y to human art. 

The concept of a thing as in itself a natural 
purpose is therefore no constitutive concept of 
Understanding or of Reason, but it can serve as a 
regulative concept for the reflective Judgment, to 
guide our investigation about oi>jects of this kind 
by a distant analogy with our own causality accord- 
ing to purposes generally, and in our meditations 
upon their ultimate ground. This latter use, however, 
is not in reference to the knowledge of nature or of 
its original ground, but rather to our own practical 
faculty of Reason, in analogy with which we con- 
sidered the cause of that pnrposiveness. 

Organised beings are then the only beings in 
nature which, considered in themselves and apart 
from any relation to other things, can be thought as 
possible only as purposes of nature. Hence they 
first afford objective reality to the concept of a 
purpose of nature, as distinguished from a practical 
purpose ; and so they give to the science of nature the 
basis for a teleology, i.e. a motle of judginent about 
natural Objects according to a special principle 
which otherwise we should in no way be justified 
in introducing (because we cannot see a priori the 
possibility of this kind of causality). 

§ 66. Of the prindpic ofjud^^ing of intemai 
pnrposiveness in organised deings 

This principle, which is at the same time 
I definition, is as follows: An organised product oj 
] nature is one in which every part is reciprocally 
purpose \€nd^ and means. In it nothing is vain, with- 

DIV. I I 66 



out purpose, or to be ascribed to a blind mechanism 
of nature. 

The principle is no doubt, as regards its occasion, 
derived from experience, viz. from that methodised 
oxperiL-nce called observation ; but on account of 
the universality and necessity which it ascribes to 
such purposiveness it cannot rest solely on empirical 
grounds, but must have at its basis an a priori 
principle, although it be merely regulative and 
these purposes lie only in the idea of the judging 
[subject] and not in an effective cause. We may 
therefore describe the aforesaid principle as a maxim 
forjudging of the internal purposiveness of organised 

It is an acknowledged fact that the dissectors 
of plants and animals, in order to investigate their 
structure and to find out the reasons, why antl for 
what end such parts, such a disposition and com- 
bination of parts, and just such an internal form 
have been given them, assume as indisputably neces- 
sary the maxim that nothing in such a creature is 
vain\ just as they lay down as the fundamental 
proposition of the universal science of nature, that 
«(?//i///^ happens 6y chance. In fact, they can as little 
free themselves from this leleological proposition 
as from the universal physical proposition : for as 
without the latter wc should have no experience 
at all, so without the former we should have no 
guiding thread for the observation of a species 
of natural things which we have conceived teleologi- 
caJly under the concept of natural purposes. 

Now this concept brings the Reason into a 
quite different order of things from that of a mere 
mechanism of nature, which is no longer satisfying 
here. An Idea is to be the ground of the possibility 








of the natura 
absolute unity of representation, instead of the 
material being a plurality of things that can supply H 
by itselfno definite unityof composition, — if that unity 
of the Idea is to serve at all as the a priori ground 
of determination of a natural law of the causality of 
such a form of composition, — the purpose of natiure 
must be extended to everything included in its 
product. For if we once refer action of this sort 
on the whole to any supersensible ground of deter- 
mination beyond the blind mechanism of nature, 
we must judge of it altogether according to this 
principle ; and we have then no reason to regard 
the form of such a thing as partly dependent on 
mechanism — for by such mixing up of disparate 
principles no certain rule of judging would be left. 

For example, it may be that in an animal body 
many parts can be conceived as concretions accord- 
ing to mere mechanical laws (as the hide, the bones, 
the hair). And yet the cause which brings together 
the required matter, modifies it, forms it, and puts 
it in its appropriate place, must always be judged of 
teleologically ; so that here everything must be con- 
sidered as organised, and everything again in a 
certain relation to the thing itself is an organ. 

\ 67. Of the principle of the telcological judging 
of nature in general as a system of purposes 

We have already said above that the extentai 
purposiveness of natural things affords no sufilicient 
warrant for using them as purposes of nature in 
order to explain their presence, and for regarding 
their contingently purposive effects as the grounds 
of their presence according to the principle of final 

DIV. 1 I 67 



causes. Thus we cannot take for natural purposes, 
rivers because they promote intercourse among 
inland peoples, motmtains because they contain the 
sources of the rivers and for their tnaifitenatue in 
rainless seasons have a store of snow, or the s/ope 
of the land which carries away the water and leaves 
the country dry ; because although this shape of the 
earth's surface be very necessary for the origin and 
maintenance of the vegetable and animal kingdoms, 
it has nothing in itself for the possibility of which 
we are forced to assume a causality according to 
purposes. The same is true of plants which man 
uses for his needs or his pleasures ; of beasts, the 
camel, the ox. the horse, dog, etc., which are indis- 
pensable for him as well for food as because they 
are used in his service in many different ways. In 
the case of things which we have no reason for 
regarding in themselves as purposes, such external 
relation can only be hypothetically judged as pur- 

To judge of a thing as a natural purpose on 
account of its internal form is something very 
different from taking the existence of that thing to 
be a purpose of nature. For the latter assertion 
we require not merely the concept of a possible 
purpose, but the knowledge of the final purpose 
(scopus) of nature. But this requires a reference 
of such knowledge to something supersensible far 
transcending all our teleological knowledge of nature, 
for the purpose of [the existence of]' nature must 
itself be sought beyond nature. The internal form 
of a mere blade of grass is sufficient to show that 
for our human faculty of judgment its origin is 

1 [These words are insened by Ro5en1cran2i hut omitted by 
Hartenstein and Kirctunann.] 




possible only according to the rule of purposes; 
But if we change our point of view and look to th 
use which other natural beings make of it, abando 
the consideration of its internal organisation and 
only look to its externally purposive references, we 
shall arrive at no categorical purpose ; all this pur- 
posive reference rests on an ever more distant con 
dition, which, as unconditioned (the presence of 
thing as final purpose). lies quite outside the physico- 
teleological view of llie world. For example, grass 
is needful for the ox, which again is needful for maa 
as a means of existence, but then we do not see whyj 
it is necessary that men should exist (a question 
this, which we shall not find so easy to answer if we 
sometimes cast our thoughts on the New Hollander 
or the inhabitants of Tierra del Fuego). So con- 
ceived, the thing is not even a natural puqxise, for 
neither it (nor its whole genus) is to be regarded as 
a natural product. 

Hence it is only so far as matter is organised 
that it necessarily carries with it the concept of a 
natural purpose, because this its specific form is at 
the same time a product of nature. But this con- 
cept leads necessarily to the Idea of collective 
nature as a system in accordance with the rule o 
purposes, to which Idea all the mechanism of nature 
must be subordinated according to principles o 
Reason (at least in order to investigate naturij 
phenomena in it). The principle of Reason belongs 
to it only as a subjective principle or a maxim : viz 
ever>*thing in the worhl is some way good for some- 
thing; nothing is vain in it. By the example tha 
nature gives us in its organic products we are justi- 
fied, nay called upon, to expect of it and of its laws 
nothing that is not purposive on the whole. 



tltV. I • 67 



It is plain that this is not a principle for the 
determinant but only for the reflective judgment ; 
that it is regulative and not constitutive ; and that 
we derive from it a clue by which we consider 
natural things in reference to an already given ground 
of determination according to a new law-abiding 
order ; and extend cur natural science according to 
a different principle, viz. that of final causes, but yet 
without prejudice to the principle of mechanical 
causality. furthermore, it is in no wise thus 
decided, whether anything of which we judge by this 
principle, is a designed purpose of nature ; whether 
the grass is for the ox or the sheep, or whether 
these and the other things of nature are here for 
men. It is well also from this side to consider the 
things which are unpleasant to us and are contrary 
to purpose in particular references. Thus, for 
example, we can say : The vermin that torment men 
in their clothes, their hair, or their beds, may be, 
according to a wise appointment of nature, a motive 
to cleanliness which is in itself an important means 
for the preservation of health. Or again the mos- 
quitoes and other stinging insects that make the 
wildernesses of America so oppressive to the savages, 
may be so many goatls to activity for these primitive 
men, [inducing them] to drain the marshes and 
bring light into the forests which intercept every 
breath of air, and in this way, as well as by cultivat- 
ing the soil, to make their habitations more healthy. 
The same thing, which appears to men contradictory 
to nature in its inner organisation, if viewed in this 
light gives an entertaining, sometimes an instructive, 
outlook into a teleological order of things, to which. 
without such a principle, mere physical observation 
would not lead us by itself. Thus some persons 




regard the tapeworm as given to the men or 
animals in whom it resides, as a kind of set-off for 
some defect in their vital organs ; now I would ask 
if dreams (without which we never sleep, though we 
seldom remember them) may not be a purposiv 
ordinance of nature? For during the relaxation o 
all the moving powers of the body, they serv 
to inwardly excite the vital organs by the medium 
of the Imagination and its great activity (which in^ 
this state generally rises to the heig^ht of a(Tection).J 
During sleep the Imagination commonly is more 
actively at play when the stomach is overloaded, in 
which case this excitement is the more necessary. ^ 
Consequently, then, without this internal power ofj 
motion and this fatiguing unrest, on account of which 
we complain about our dreams (though in fact they 
are rather remedies), sleep even in a sound state of 
health would be a complete extinction of life. 

Also the beauty of nature. i,e. its connection 
with the free play of our cognitive faculties in 
apprehending and judging of its appearance, can be 
regarded as a kind of objective purposiveness o 
nature in its whole [content] as a system of which 
man is a member; if once the teleological judging 
of the same by means of the natural purposes with 
which organised beings furnish us, has justified for 
us the Idea of a great system of purposes of nature. 
We can regard it as a favour' which nature has felt^ 

' In the asthclicn] part [^ 58, p. 247] it was snid : We Tt'tw haiuti- 
ful nature 'ivith favour^ whilst we hnvc a quite free (disinterested) satis> 
faction in its fonn. For in this mere judgment of taste no considera- 
tion is given to the purpose for which these naiural beauties exist ; 
whether 10 excite pleasure in us, or as purposes without any rcfcrcncefl 
10 us at all. But in a telcolo^jical judgment we pay atieniion taB 
this reference, and here we can regard it m a favour of nature that 
it has been willing to minister to our cukure by the exhibition of so 
many beautiful figures. 


Dir. 1 1 6S 



for us, that in addition to what is useful it has so 
profusely dispensed beaut)* and charm ; and we can 
therefore love it, as well as regard it with respect on 
account of its immensity, and feel ennobled ourselves 
by such regard ; just as if nature had established 
and adorned its splendid theatre precisely with this 

We shall say only one thing more in this para- 
graph. If we have once discovered in nature a 
faculty of bringing forth products that can only be 
thought by us in accordance with the concept of 
final causes, we go further still. We venture to 
judge that things belong to a system of purposes, 
which yet do not (either in themselves or in their 
purposive relations) necessitate our seeking for any 
principle of their possibility beyond the mechanism 
of causes working blindly. For the first Idea, as 
concerns its ground, already brings us beyond the 
world of sense ; since the unity of the supersensible 
jirinciple must be regarded as valid in this way not 
merely for certain species of natural beings, but for 
the whole of nature as a system. 

§ 68. Of the principle of Teleology as internal 
principle of natural science 

The principles of a science are either internal to 
it and are then called domestic (principia donustica), 
or are based on concepts that can only find their 
place outside it and so ^xq foreign principles (pere- 
grina). Sciences that contain the latter, place at 
the basis of their doctrines auxiliary propositions 
[lemmata), i.e. they borrow some concept, and with 
it a ground of arrangement, from another science. 

Every science is in itself a system, and it is not 



enough in it to build in accordance with principles 
and thus to employ a technical procedure, but wc 
must go to work with it architectonically, as h 
building subsisting for itself; we must not treat it as 
an additional wing or part of another building, but as 
a whole in itself, although we may subsequently 
make a passage from it into that other or converselyS 

If then we introduce into the context of natural 
science the concept of God in order to explain tht 
puqiosivcness in nature, and subsequently use this 
purposiveness to prove that there is a God, there ij 
no internal consistency in either science \i.e. cither' 
in natural science or theology] ; and a delusive 
circle brings them both into uncertainty, because 
they have allowed their boundaries to overlap. ■ 

The expression, a purpose of nature, already 
sufficiently prevents the confusion of mixing up^ 
natural science and the occasion that it gives fool 
judging teleologically of its objects, with the con- 
sideration of God, and so of a theological derivation 
of them. We must not regard it as insignificant, 
if one interchanges this expression with that of a_ 
divine purpose in the ordering of nature, or gives 
out the latter as more suitable and proper for 
pious soul, because it must come in the end to' 
deriving these purposive forms in nature from a 
wise author of the world. On the contrary, wofl 
must carefully and modestly limit ourselves to the 
expression, a purpose of nature, which asserts exactly 
as much as we know. Before we ask after the cause 
of nature itself, we find in nature, and in the coursefl 
of its development, products of the same kind which 
are developed in it according lo known empirical 
laws, in accordance with which natural science must _ 
judge of its objects, and, consequently, must seel 

siv. 1 1 68 



in nature their causality according to the rule of 
purix).ses. So then it must not transgress its bounds 
in order to introduce into itself as a domestic principle 
that, to whose concept no experience can be com- 
mensurate, upon which we are only entitled to 
venture after the completion of natural science. 

Natural characteristics which demonstrate them- 
Ives a priori, and consequently admit of insight 
Into their possibility from universal principles with- 
out any admixture of experience, although they 
carry with them a technical purposiveness, yet can- 
not, because they are absolutely necessary, be referred 
to the Teleology of nature, as to a method belonging 
to Physic for solving its problems. ArilhnTctical 
or geometrical analogies, as well as universal 
mechanical laws, — however strange and admirable 
may seem to us the union of different rules, quite 
independent of one another according to all appear- 
ance, in a single principle, — possess on that account 
no claim to be teleologlcal grounds of explanation 
in Physic. Even if they deserve to be brought into 
consideration in the universal theory of the purposive- 
ness of things of nature, yet they belong to another 
[science], i.e. Metaphysic, and constitute no internal 
principle of natural science ; as with the empirical 
laws of natural purposes in organised beings, it is not 
only permissible but unavoidable to use the teleo- 
logical mod€ of judging as a principle of the doctrine 
of nature in regard to a particular class of its objects. 
So to the end that Physic may keep within its 
own bounds, it abstracts itself entirely from the 
question, whether natural purposes are designed or 
undesigned; for that would be to meddle in an 
extraneous business, in Metaphysic. It is enough 
that there are objects, alone explicable according 



to natural laws which we can only think by mean 
of the Idea of purposes as principle, and also alone 
internally cognisabk as concerns their internal form, 
in this way. In order, therefore, to remove the 
suspicion of the slightest assumption, — as if vd 
wished to mix with our grounds of cognition 
something not belonging to Physic at all, viz. a 
supernatural cause, — we speak, indeed, in Teleology 
of nature as if the purposiveness in it were designed, 
but in such a way that this design is ascribed to 
nature, i.e. to matter. Now- in this way there can 
be no misunderstanding, because no design in the 
proper nieaning of the word can possibly be ascribed 
to inanimate matter ; we thus give notice that this 
word here only expresses a principle of the rellective 
not of the determinant Judgment, and so is to 
introduce no particular ground of causality ; but 
only adds for the use of the Reason a different 
kind of investigation from that according to 
miichanical laws, in order to supplement the in- 
adequacy of the latter even for empirical research 
into all particular laws of nature. Hence we speak 
quite correctly in Teleology, so far as it is referred 
to Physic, of the wisdom, the economy, the fore- 
thought, the beneficence of Nature, without either 
making an intelligent being of it. for that would be 
preposterous ; or even without presuming to place 
another intelligent Being above it as its Architect, 
for that would be presumptuous.' But there should 

I The German word vermesscn is n ({ood word and fuil of 
meaning. A judgment in whidi we forget to consider the cxtcnl of 
our powers (our UndcrsiAnding) may sometimes sound vcr>* bumble, 
and yet make great pretensions, and so be very presumptuous. Of 
this kind arc most of those by which we pretend to cxlol the divine 
wisdom by ascribing to it desi}^8 in the works of creation and 
pre^er\-:aion which arc realty meant to do honour to the private 
wisdom of the reasoner. 

orr. 1 1 68 



be only signified thereby a kind of causality of 
nature aftur the analogy of our own in the technical 
use of Reason, in order to have before us the rule 
according to which certain products of nature must 
be investigated. 

But now why is it that Teleology usually forms 
no proper part of theoretical natural science, but 
is regarded as a propcedeutic or transition to 
Theology ? This is done in order to restrict the 
study of nature mechanically considered to that 
which we can so subject to observation or experi- 
ment that we are able to produce it ourselves as 
nature does, or at least by similar laws, i''or we 
see into a thing completely only so far as we can 
make it in accordance with our concepts and bring 
it to completion. But organisation, as an inner 
purpose of nature, infinitely surpasses all our faculty 
of presenting the like by means of art. And as 
concerns the external contrivances of nature regarded 
as purposive (wind, rain, etc.), Physic, indeed, con- 
siders their mechanism, but it cannot at all present 
their reference to purposes, so far as this is a condi- 
tion necessarily belonging to cause; for this necessity 
of connection has to do altogether with the com- 
bination of our concepts and not with the constitu- 
tion of things. 



§ 69. WAai is an antino^ny of the Judgment f 

The determinant Judgment has for Itself no 
principles which are the foundation of concepts of 
Objects. It has no autonomy, for it subsumes only 
under given laws or concepts as principles. Hence 
it is exposed to no danger of an antinomy of its own 
or to a conflict of its principles. So [we saw that] 
the transcendental Judgment which contains the 
conditions of subsuming under categories was for 
itself not nomothetic, but that it oniy indicated the 
conditions of sensuous intuition, under which reality 
(application) can be supplied to a given concept, as 
law of the Understanding, whereby the Judgment 
could never fall into discord with itself (at least as 
far as its principles are concerned). 

But the reflective Judgment must subsume under 
a law. which is not yet given, and is therefore in fact 
only a principle of reflection upon objects, for which 
we are objectively quite in want of a law or of a 
concept of an Object that would be adequate as a 
principle for the cases that occur. Since now no use 
of the cognitive faculties can be permitted without 
principles, the reflective judgment must in such 
cases serve as a principle for itself. This, because 


niv. II 1 70 



it is not objective and can supply no ground of 
cognition of the Object adequate for design, must 
serve as a mere subjective principle, for the pur- 
posive employment of our cognitive faculties, i.e. 
for reflecting upon a class of objects. Therefore in 
reference to such cases the reflective Judgment has 
its maxims — necessary maxims — on behalf of the 
cognition of natural laws in experience, in order to 
attain by their means to concepts, even concepts 
of Reason ; since it has absolute need of such in 
order to learn merely to cognise nature according to 
its empirical laws. — ■ Between these necessary 
maxims of the reflective Judgment there may be a 
conflict and consequently an antinomy, upon which 
a Dialectic bases itself. If each of two conflicting 
maxims has its ground in the nature of the cognitive 
faculties, this may be called a natural Dialectic, and 
an unavoidable illusion which we must expose and 
resolve in our Kritik, to the end that it may not 
deceive us. 

r, \ 70. Representation of this antinomy 

So far as Reason has to do with nature, as the 
complex of objects of external sense, it can base itself 
partly upon laws which the Understanding itself 
prescribes a priori to nature, partly upon laws which 
it can extend indefinitely by means of the empirical 
determinations occurring in experience. To apply 
the former kind of laws, i.e. the universal laws of 
material nature in general, the Judgment needs no 
special principle of reflection, since it is there 
determinant because an objective principle is given 
to it through Understanding. But as regards the 
particular laws that can only be made known to us 



rART ir 

through experience, there can be under them such 
great manffoldness and diversity, that the Judgment 
must ser\'e as its own principle in order to in- 
vestigate and search into the phenomena of nature 
in accordance with a law. Such a guiding thread is 
needed, if we are only to hope for a connecteciH 
empirical cognition according to a thoroughgoing 
conformity of nature to law, even its unity according 
to empirical laws. In this contingent unity ol 
particular laws it may very well happen that the 
Judgment in its reflection proceeds from two maxims. 
One of these is suggested to it a priori by the merCj 
Understanding ; but the other is prompted by par- 
ticular experiences, which bring the Reason int 
play in order to fom^ a judgment upon corpore* 
nature and its laws in accordance with a particulai 
principle. Hence it comes about that these lw< 
kinds of maxims seem not to be capable of existing 
together, and consequently a Dialectic arises whicl 
leads the Judgment into error in the principle of il 

^\\Q. first niaxim of Judgment is \\\^. proposition 
all production of material things and their form; 
must be judged to be possible according to mereb 
mechanical laws. 

The secofid niaxim is the counter-proposition : 
some products of material nature cannot be judged 
to be possible according to merely mechanical laws. 
(To judge them requires quite a different law of 
causality, namely, that of final causes .) 

If these regulative principles of investigation 
converted into constitutive principles of the possi^ 
bility of Objects, they will run thus : 

Proposition : All production of material things u 
possible according to merely mechanical laws. 





Cmtnter-proposidon : Some prodiictioii of material 
things is not possible according to merely mechanical 

In this latter aspect, as objective principles for 
the determinant judgment, they would contradict 
each other ; and consequently one of the two pro- 
positions must necessarily be false. We shall then, 
it is true, have an antinomy, but not of Judgment; 
there will be a conflict in the legislation of Reason. 
Reason, however, can prove neither the one nor the 
other of these fundamental propositions, because we 
can have a priori no determinant principle of the 
possibility of things according to mere empirical 
laws of nature. 

On the other hand, as regards the first-mentioned 
maxims of a reflective Judgment, they involve no 
contradiction in fact. For if 1 say, I must judge, 
according to merely mechanical laws, of the possi- 
bility of all events in material nature, and conse- 
quently of all forms regarded as its products, I do 
not therefore say: They are possible in this way alone 
(apart from any other kind of causality). All that is 
implied is : I must always reflect upon them according >y 
to the principle oi the mere mechanism of nature, and 
consequently investigate this as far as 1 can ; because 
unless this lies at the basis of investigation, there can 
be no proper knowledge of nature at all. But this 
does not prevent us, if opportunity offers, from follow- 
ing out the second maxim in the case of certain natural 
forms (and even by instigation of these in the whole 
of nature), in order to reflect upon them according 
to the principle of final causes, which is quite a 
different thing from explaining them according to t 
the mechanism of nature. ReJlectlon in accordance 
with the first maxim is thus not removed ; on the 



contrary, wr are told to follow it as far as we can. 
Nor is it said that these forms would not be possibjfc 
^ in accordance with the mechanism of nature. It^ 
only asserted that human Reason in following up this 
maxim and in this way could never find the least 
ground for that which constitutes the specific 
[character] of a natural purpose, although it would 
increase its know^iedge of natural laws. Thus it is 
left undecided whether or not in the unknown inner 
ground of nature, physi co-mechanical and purposive 
combination may be united in the same things in one 
principle. We only say that our Reason is not in a, 
position so to unite them : and that therefore the 
Judgment (as rejUctht — from subjective grounds. 
not as determinant, in consequence of an objectivej 
principle of the possjbilit)' of things in themselves)] 
is compelled to think a different principle from that 
of natural mechanism as the ground of the 
bility of certain forms in nature. 


§ 71. Preiiminary to ike so/uii^n of the above 

a«tim4my ^ 

V We can in no way prove the imposability of the 
production of organised natural products by the mere 
mechanism of nature, because we cannot see into 
the first inner ground of the infinite multiplicity of 
the particular laws of ikature, which are contingent 
for us since they are only empirically known : and so 
we cannot arrive at^e inner all-sufHcient principle 
of the possibility' of a nature (a principle which lies 
in the supersensible).'^ Whether therefore the pro- 
ductive (acult>- of nature is sufficient for that- which 
we judge to be formed or con^bincd in accoi 
with the Idea of purposes, as well as for that 

DIV. It I 71 





we believe to require merely a mechanical system 
[Maschinenwcs[.;n] of nature ; or whether there lies 
at the basis of things which we must necessarily 
judge as properly natural purposes, a quite different 
kind of original causality, which cannot be contained 
in material nature or in its intelligible substrate, viz. 
an architectonic Understanding — this is a question 
10 which our Reason, very narrowly limited in respect 
of the concept of causality if it is to be specified a 
priori^ can give no answer whatever. — But it is just 
as certain and beyond doubt that, in regard to our 
cognitive faculties, th ^ , _m e re mechanism of n ature 
can furn ish ng ^ rrr^nnH f>f "-YphmTJ^n "f tb^ prHn ^- 
t ion of organised being s. For Ike refl ective Judg- 
ment it is therefore a quite correct Jundamental 
prop osition, tha^ for that connection o f things accord- 
in^ to_fiaaL £auscs w hich is so plain, there mus t be 
tjj ought a causality distinc^ irpm that of mechanism^ 
y]z. that of arL(intelIigent) C ause of the world actin g 
in accordance with purposes ; but fo r the determi - 
nanl_jH(ig}mnt this wou ld be a hasty and un provable 
proposition. In the first case it is a mere maxim of 
the Judgment, wherein the concept of that causality 
is a mere Idea, to which we by no means undertake 
to concede reality, Vait which we ii$e as a guide to 

reflection, which rem 
mechanical ground 
withdraw out of the 
case the proposition 
pHsscribed by Reaso 
Judgment must subj 
withdraws beyond i 
scendent and perhj 

All appearan 
maxims of the 


thereby always open to all 

lanation and does not 

Sense. In the second 

e an objective principle 

\ which the delenninant 

itself, whereby however it 

world of Sense into the tran- 

is led into error. 

of an antinomy between the 

physical (mecha nical) and the 




^.^leslfiSifi^LUechnical) methods of explanation rest! 
therefore on this ; that we confuse a fundamental 
proposition of the reflective with one of the deter- 
minant Judgment, and the autonomy of the ft 
(which has mere subjective validity for our use 
Reason in respect of particular empirical laws) wi 
the heUron&my of the second, which must regula 
.itself according to laws (universal or particul 
'given to it by the Understanding. 


§ 72. 0/ the different s^'stems w/fic/t deal with the 
purposiveness of nature 

No one has ever doubted the correctness of the 
proposition that judgment must be passed upon 
certain things of nature (organised beings) and their 
possibility in accordance with the concept of final 
causes, even if we only desire a guiding thread to 
learn how to cognise their constitution through 
observation, without aspiring to an investigation into 
their first origin. The question therefore can only 
be : whether this fundamental proposition is merely 
subjectively valid, i.e. is a mere maxim of our 
Judgment ; or whether it is an objective principle of 
nature, in accordance with which, apart from its 
mechanism (according to the mere laws of motion), 
quite a different kind of causality attaches to it, viz. 
that of final causes, under which these laws (of 
moving forces) stand only as intermediate causes. 

We could leave this question or problem quite 
undecided and unsolved speculatively : because if we 
content ourselves with speculation within the bounds 
of mere natural knowIe<lge, we have enough in these 
maxims for the study of n^ure and for the tracking 
out of its hidden secrets, as far as human powers 

DIV. I! I 7J 



reach. There is then indeed a certain presentiment 
of our Reason or a hint as it were given us by 
nature, that, by means of this concept of final causes, 
we go beyond nature, and could unite it to the 
ibighcst point in the series of causes, if we were to 
abandon or at least to lay aside for a time the 
investigation of nature (although we may not have 
advanced far in it), and seek thenceforth to find out 
whither thiy stranger in natural science, viz. the 
concept of natural purposes, would lead us. 

Hut here these undisputed maxims pass over 
into problems opening out a wide field for difficulties, 
^oes purposive connection in nature prove a par- ■> 
ticular kind of causality ? Or is it not rather, 
considered in itself and in accordance with objective 
principles, similar to the mechanism of nature, rest- 
ing on one and the same ground ? Only, as this 
ground in many natural products is often hidden too 
deep for our investigation, we make trial of a 
subjective principle, that of art, i.e, of causality 
according to Ideas, and we ascribe it to nature by 
analogy. This expedient succeeds in many cases, 
but seems in some to mislead, and in no case docs 
it justify us in introducing into natural science a 
particular kind of operation quite distinct from the 
causality according to the mere mechanical laws of 
nature. We give the name of Technic to the pro- 
cedure (the causality) of nature, on account of the 
appearance of purpose that we find in its products; 
and we shall divide this into dtsij^fi^d {lechnica 
intentionaiis) and undesiiiued {technica naturalis). 
" ^he first is meant to signify that the productive 
facultv of nature accordin^y to final causes must be 
taken for a uMrticular kinH of causality : the second 
that it is at bottom the same as the mechanism of 



PART It , 



nature, and that its contingent agreement with o 
artistic concopls and thtir rules should be explained 
as a mere subjective condition of judging it, and n 
falsely, as a particular kind of natural production. 

I f we now speak of systems explanatory 
nature in regard of final causes, it must be remarked 
that they all controvert each other dogmatically, 
i.e. as to objective principles of the possibility of 
things, whether there are causes which act designedly 
or whether they are quite without design. They 
do not dispute as to the subjective maxims, by 
which we merely judge of the causes of such 
purposive products. In this latter case disparate 
principles could very well be unified ; but in the 
former, contradictorily opposed laws annul each other 
and cannot subsist together. 

There are two sorts of systems as to the Tech n ig 
qf naiur ^ i.e. its productive power in accordance 
with thefrule of purposes ; viz. Idealism or Realism 
of natural purposes. The first maintains that all 
purposiveness of nature is undesigned; the second 
that some (in organised beings) is desigfi^d. From 
this latter the hypothetical consequence can be 
deduced that the Technic of Nature, as concerns 
all its other products in reference to the whole of 
nature, is also designed, i,c. is a purpose. 

(i) The Idealism of purposiveness (I always 
understand by this, objective purposiveness) is either 
that of the casual ity or iS\^. fatality of the determina- 
tion of nature in the purposive form of its products. 
The former principle treats of the reference of matter 
to the physical basis of its form, viz. the laws of 
motion ; the second, its reference to the hyperpkysieal 
basis of itself and of the whole of nature. The 
system of casualily that is ascribed to Epicurus o: 

niv. II I 72 



Democritus is, taken literally, so plainly absurd that 
it need not detain us. Opposed to this is the 
system of fatality, of which Spvwza is taken as the 
author, although it is much older according to 
all appearance. This, as it appeals to something 
supersensible to which our insight does not extend, 
is not so easy to controvert ; but that is because its 
concept of the original Being is not possible to 
understand. But so much is clear, that on this ^ 
theor)' the purposive combination in the world must 
be taken as undesigned ; for although derived from 
an original Being, it is not derived from His Under- 
standing or from any design of His, but rather from 
the necessity of His nature and of the world-unity 
which emanates from Him. Consequently the r 
Fatalism of purposiveness is at the same time ,an 

(2) The Realism of the purposiveness of 
nature is also either physical or hyperphysical. 
The former bases the purposes in nature, by the 
analogy of a faculty acting with design, on the life 
of matter (either its own or the life of an inner 
principle in it, a world-soul) and is called Hylozoism, 
The iatter derives them from the original ground 
of the universe, as from an intelligent Being 
(originally living), who produces them with design, 
and is Theism} 

* We thus see ihat in most speculative things of pure Reason, 
as regards dogmatic assertions, the philosophical schools have 
cotnmonly tried all possible solutions of a given question. To 
explain the purposive ciess of aature lucn have tried cither ii/eUss 
matttr or a U/clm Gott, or again, living tnatier or a living God. 
It only remains for tis, if the need should arise, to abandon all 
these objective assertions and to examine critically our judgment 
merely in reference to our cognitive faculties, in order ta supply to 
their principle a value which, if not do^'m.ilir, 511.111 at least be that 
of a maxim sufiicieni for the sure employment of Reason. 



\ T}^. None of the above systems giife what i/uy 

What do all these systems desire ? They desire 
to explain our teleological judgments about nature, 
and they go so to work therewith that some deny 
their truth and, consequently, explain them as an 
Idealism of Nature (represented as Art) ; others 
recognise them as true, and promise to establish 
the possibility of a nature in accordance with the 
Idea of final causes, 

(i) The systems which defend the Idealism of 
final causes in nature grant, it is true, on the one 
hand to their principle a causality In accordance with 
the laws of motion (through which [causjility] natural 
things exist purposively) ; but they deny to it inten- 
tioiialiiy, i.e. that it designedly determines itself to 
this its purposive production ; in other words, they 
deny that the cause is a purpose. This is Epunruss- 
method of explanation, according to which the dis- 
tinction between a Technic of nature and mere 
mechanism is altogether denied. Blind chance is 
taken as the explanatory ground not only of the 
agreement of the developed products with our con- 
cepts of the purpose, and consequently of [nature's] 
Technic ; but also of the determination of the causes 
of this production in accordance with the laws of 
motion, and consequently of their mechanism. Thus 
nothing is explained, not even the illusion in our 
teleological judgments, and consequently, the pre- 
tended Idealism of these in no way established. 

On the other hand. Spinoza wishes to dispen 
with all inquiries into the ground of the possibili 
of purposes of nature, and to take away all reality 


Div. u I 75 



from this Idua. He allows their validity in general 
not as products but as accidents inhering in an 
original Being ; and to this Being, as substrate of 
those natural things, he ascribes in regard to them not 
causality but mere subsistence. On account of its 
unconditioned necessity, and also that of all natural 
things as accidents inhering in it, he secures^ it is 
true, to the forms of nature that un ^y oj ^^jmumtl 
which is requisite for all purposiveness ; b^t at the 
same time hejeairs away theif-e©fttingence, without 
\vWu-\\ pr, ^'HJfy Y p^'^*i'"<^ ran hr tln^iigl ijt ^nd w ith 
it all dtsi [ fni. inasmuch as hg_ takes .Jawgy^ -'T 
intellig ence from the orig inal grou nd nf , natural 

But Spinozism does not furnish what it wishes. 
It wishes to afford an explanatory ground of the 
purposive connection (which it does not deny) of 
iht! things of nature, and it merely speaks of the 
unity of the subject in which they all inhere. But 
even if we concede to it that the beings of the 
world exist in this way, that ontological unity is not 
therefore a utn'ly of purpose ^ and does not make this 
in any way comprehensible. For this latter is a 
quite particular kind of unity which does not follow 
from the connection of things (the beings of the 
world) in asubject (the original Being), but implies in 
itself reference to a cause which has Understanding ; 
and even if we unite all these things in a simple 
subject, this never exhibits a purposive reference. 
For we do not think of them, first, as the inner >^ 
effects of the substance, as if it were a cattse ; nor, 
secondly, of this cause as a cause producing effects 
by means of its Understanding. Without these 
formal conditions all unity is mere natural necessity ; 
and, if it is ascribed as well to things which we 


jTAyr's A'x/r/A' of jvdgmes'T 

represent as external to one another, blind necessity. 
But if wc wish to give the name of purposiveness ol 
nature to that which the schoolmen call the tran- 
scendental perfection of things (in reference to their 
proper being), according to which everything has in 
itself that which is requisite to make it one thing 
and not another, then we are only like children 
playing with words instead of concepts. For if all 
things must be thought as purposes, then to be a 
thing is the same as to be a purpose, and there is 
at bottom nothing which specially deserves to be 
represented as a purpose. 

We hence see at once that Spinoza by his redu- 
cing our concepts of the purposive in nature to our 
own consciousness of existing in an all-embracing 
(ihoujrh simple) Being, and by his seeking that form 
merely in the unity of this being, must have intended 
to maintain not the realism, but the idealism of its 
purposiveness. Even this he was not able to accom- 
plish, because the mere representation of the unity 
of the substrate cannot bring about the Idea of a 
purposiveness, even that which is only undesigned. 

(2) Those who not only maintain the Realism of 
natural purposes, but also set about explaining it, 
believe that they can comprehend, at least as 
regards its possibility, a practical kind of causality, 
viz. that of causes working designedly ; otherwise 
they could not undertake to supply this explanation,, 
For to authorise even the most daring of hypotheses, 
at least the possibiiity of what we assume as basis 
must be certain, and we must be able to assure 
objective reality to its concept. 

But the possibility of living matter cannot even 
be thought ; its concept involves a contradiction 
because lifelessness, inertia^ constitutes the essential 

niv. II f 73 



character of matter. The possibility of matter 
endowed with life, and of collective nature regarded 
as an animal, can only be used in an inadequate 
way (in regard to the hypolht'sis of purposivcness in 
the whole of nature), so far as it is manifested by 
experience in the organisation of nature on a small 
scale ; but in no way can its possibility be compre- 
hended a priori. There must then be a circle in 
the explanation, if we wish to derive the purposive- 
ness of nature in organised beings from the life of 
matter, and yet only know this life in organised 
beings, and can form no concept of its possibility 
without exfxjrience of this kind. Hylozoism, there- 
fore, does not perform what it promises. 

Finally, Theism can just as little establish 
dogmatically the possibility of natural purposes as a 
key to Teleology ; although it certainly is superior to 
all other grounds of explanation in that, through the 
Understanding which it ascribes to the original 
Being, it rescues in the best way the purpostveness 
of nature from Idealism, and introduces a causality 
acting with design for its production. 

But we must first prove satisfactorily to the 
determinant Judgment the impossibility of the 
unity of purpose in matter resulting from its mere 
mechanism, before we are justified in placing the 
ground of this beyond nature in a determinate way. 
We can, however, advance no further than this. 
In accordance with the constitution and limits of 
our cognitive faculties (whilst we do not comprehend 
even the first inner ground of this mechanism) we 
must in no wise seek in matter a principle of 
determinate purposive references : but no other 
way of judging of the origination of its products 
as natural purposes remains to us than that 




PART tl 

by means of a supreme Understanding as cause of 
the world. But this is only a ground for il 
reflective, not for the determinant Judj^Tnent, ai 
can justify absolutely no objective assertion. 

§ 74. The reason that tvc canvoi treat the concept 
a Technic of nature dopnatiealiy is the fact theU 
a nalura/ purpose is inexpHcabie f 

We deal with a concept dogmatically (even 
though it should be empirically conditioned) if we 
consider it as contained under another concept of 
the Object which constitutes a principle ' of Reason, 
and determine it in conformity with this. But we 
deal with it merely critically, if we consider it only 
in reference to our cognitive faculties and con- 
sequently to the subjective conditions of thinking it, 
without undertaking to decide anything about its 
Object. Dogmatic procedure with a concept is 
then that which is conformable to law for the 
determinant Judgment, critical procedure for the 
reflective Judgment. 

Now the concept of a thing as a natural purpose 
is a concept which subsumes nature under a 
causality only thinkable through Rea.son, in order to 
judge in accordance with this principle about that 
which is given of the Object in experience. But in 
order to use it dogmatically for the determinant 
Judgment, we must be assured first of the objective 
reality of this concept, because otherwise we could 
subsume no natural thing under it Again, the 

'^ [TliAt is, the wider concept senses as a universal, under which 
the particular may be broutiht ; cognition from principles, in Kant'ft 
phrase, is Uie process uf knowing ihe particular ia the universal by 
means of concepts.] 

DIV. 11 • 74 



concept of a thing as a natural purpose is, no doubt, 
empirically conditioned, i.c, only possible under 
certain conditions given in ex[!)erience. though not 
to be abstracted therefrom ; but it is a concept only 
possible in accordance with a rational principle in 
the judgment about the object. Its objective 
reality, therefore {i.c. that an object in conformity 
with it is possible), cannot be comprehended and 
dogmatically established as such a principle ; and we 
do not know whether it is merely a sophistical and 
objectively empty concept {conccptus raiiocinans), or 
a rational concept, establishing a cognition and 
confirmed by Reason {conceptus ratiocinatus)} 
Therefore it cannot be dogmatically treated for the 
determinant judgment, ix. it is not only impossible 
to decide whether or not things of nature considered 
as natural purposes require for their production a 
causality of a quite peculiar kind (that acting on 
design) : but the question cannot even be put, 
because the concept of a natural purpose is simply 
not susceptible of proof through Reason as regards 
its objective reality. That is, it is not constitutive 
for the determinant Judgment, but merely regulative 
for the reflective. 

That it is not susceptible of proof is clt^r from 
the fact that as concept of a imtural product it 
embraces in itself necessity and at the same time a 
contingency of the form of the Object (in reference 
to the mere laws of nature) in the selfsame thing 
regariled as purpose. Hence, if there is to be no 
contradiction here it must contain a ground for the 
possibility of the thing in nature, and also a ground 
of the possibility of this nature itself and of its 

' [This distinnjon will be familiar to the student of the Kritik of 
Pare Keason. See DialccUc, bk. L, Of the. Concepts 0/ Pure Peasotu] 

L ^ _--. 


reference to something which, not l>eing empiricalip 
cognisable nature (supersensible), is therefore for 
us not cognisable al all. [This is requisite] if it 
is to be judged according to a different kind of 
causality from that ni natural mechanism when we 
wish to establish its possibility. The concept of a 
thing, then, as a natural purpose, is transcendent 
for the deierminant Judgnient, if we consider the 
Object through Reason (although for the reflective 
Judgment it certainly may be immanent in respect 
of the objects of experience). Hence for determi- 
nant judgments objective reality cannot be supplied 
to it ; and so it is intelligible how all systems that 
one may project for the dogmatic treatment of the 
concept of natural purposes and of nature itself 
[considered] as a whole connected together by 
means of final causes, can decide nothing either by 
objective affirmation or by objective denial. For if 
things be subsumed under a concept that is merely 
problematical, its synthetical predicates (f.^. in the 
question whether the purpose of nature which we 
conceive for the production of things is designed or 
undesigned) can furnish only problematical judgments 
of the Object, whether affirmative or negative ; and 
we do not know whether we are judging about 
something or about nothing. The concept of a 
causality through purposes (of art) has at all events 
objective reality, and also the concept of a causality 
according to the mechanism of nature. But the 
concept of a causality of nature according to the 
rule of purposes, still more of a Being such as 
cannot be given us in experience, a Being who is 
the original cause of nature, though it can be 
thought without contradiction, yet is of no avail for 
dogmatic determinations. For, since it cannot be 

Div. II « 75 



derived from experience, and also is not requisite 
for the possibility thereof, its objective reality can 
in no way be assured. But even if this could be 
done, how can I number among the products of 
nature things which are definitely accounted products 
of divine art, when it is just the incapacity of nature 
to produce such things according to its own laws 
that made it necessary to invoke a cause different 
from it ? 

§ 75. TA^ cQiuept of an objective purpos^iveness of 
nature is a critical principle of Reason for 
the reflective Jttcigment 

It is then one thing to say, "the production of 
certain things of nature or that of collective nature 
is only possible through a cause which determines 
itself to action according to design " ; and quite 
another to say, " I can according to ike pecnliar 
constitntion of my cognitive faculties judge concern- 
ing the possibility of these things and their produc- 
tion, in no other fashion than by conceiving for this 
a cause working according to design, i.e. a Being 
which is productive in a way analogous to the 
causality of an intelligence." In the former case I 
wish to establish something concerning the Object, 
and am bound to establish the objective reality of 
an assumed concept ; in the latter, Reason only 
determines the use of my cognitive faculties, con- 
formably to their peculiarities and to the essential 
cundilions of their range and their limits. Thus 
the former principle is an objecdve proposition for 
the determinant Judgment, the latter merely a 
subjective proposition for the reflective Judgment, 
i.e. a niaxin: whicli Reason prescribes to it. 




We are in fact indispensably obliged to ascribe 
the concept of design to nature if we wish to 
investigate it, though only in its organised products, 
by continuous obsen'ation ; and this concept is 
therefore an absolutely necessary maxim for the 
empirical use of our Reason. It is plain that once 
such a guiding thread for the study of nature is 
admitted and verified, we must at least tr>' the said 
maxim of Judgment in nature as a whole : because 
according to it many of nature's laws might discover 
themselves, which otherwise, on account of the 
Umiution of our insight into its inner mechanism, 
would remain hidden. But though in regard to 
this latter employment that maxim of Judgment is 
certainly useful, it is not indispensable, for nature 
as a whole is not given as organised (in the narrow 
sense of the word above indicated). On the other 
hand, in regard to those natural products, wliich 
must be judged of as designed and not formed 
otherwise (if we are to have empirical knowledge of 
their inner constitution), this maxim of the reHeclive 
Judgment is essentially necessary ; because the very 
thought of them as organised beings is impossible 
without combining therewith the thought of their 
designed production. 

Now the concept of a thing whose existence or 
form we represent to ourselves as possible under 
the condition of a purpose is inseparably bound up 
with the concept of its contingency (according to 
natural laws). Hence the natural things that we 
find possible only as purposes supply the best proof 
of the contingency of the world -whole; to the 
common Understanding and to the philosopher 
alike ihcy are the only valid ground of proof for its 
dependence on and origin from a Being existing out- 

Div. II i 75 



side the world — a Being who must also be intelligent 
on account of its purposive form. Teleology then 
finds the consummation of its investigations only in 

But what now in the end does the most complete 
Teleology prove ? Docs it prove that there is such 
an intelligent lieing ? No. It only proves that 
according to the constitution of our cognitive faculties 
and in the consequent combination of experience 
with the highest principles of Reason, we can form 
absolutely no concept of the jxjssibility of such a 
world [as this] save by thinking a designedly-working 
supreme cause thereof. Objectively wc cannot there- 
fore lay down the proposition, there is an intelligent 
original Being ; but only subjectively, for the use of 
our judgment in its redection upon the purposes in 
nature, which can be thought according to no other 
principle than that of a designing causality of a 
highest Cause. 

If we wished to establish on teleological grounds 
the above proposition dogmatically we should be 
beset with difficulties from which we could not 
extricate ourselves. For then the proposition must 
at bottom be reduced to the conclusion, that the 
organised beings in the world are no otherwise 
possible than by a designedly-working cause. And 
we should unavoidably have to assert that, because 
we can follow up these things in their causal com- 
bination only under the Idea of purposes, and cognise 
them only according to their conformity to law, we 
are thereby justified in assuming this as a condition 
necessary for every thinking and cognising being — 
a condition consequently attaching to the Object and 
not merely to our subject. But such an assertion 
we do not succeed in sustaining. For, since we do 




not, properly speaking, ohscnc the purposes in 
nature as designed, but only in our rejection upon 
its products think this concept as a guiding thread 
for our Judgment, they are not given to us through 
the Object. It is quite impossible for us a priori to 
vindicate, as capable of assumption, such a concept 
according to its objective reality. It remains there- 
fore a proposition absolutely resting upon subjective 
conditions alone, viz. of the Judgment reflecting in 
conformity with our cognitive faculties. If we ex- 
pressed this proposition dogmatically as objectively 
valid, it would be ; " There is a God." But for us 
men there is only permissible the limited formula : 
" We cannot otherwise think and make compre- 
hensible the purposiveness which must lie at the 
bottom of our cognition of the internal possibility of 
many natural things, than by representing it and the 
world in general as a product of an intelligent cause, 

Now if this proposition, based on an inevitably 
necessary maxim of our Judgment, is completely 
satisfactory from every hu7nan point of view for both 
the speculative and practical use of our Reason, I 
should like to know what we lose by not being able 
to prove it as also valid for higher beings, from 
objective grounds (which unfortunately are beyond 
our faculties). It is indeed quite certain chat we 
cannot adequately cognise, much less explain, organ- 
ised beings and their internal possibility, according 
to mere mechanical principles of nature ; and we can 
say boldly it is alike certain that it is absurd for men 
to make any such attempt or to hope that another 
Newton will arise in the future, who shall make 
comprehensible by us the production of a blade of 
' [Second Edition.] 

iiiv. II 176 



grass according to natural laws which no design has 
ordered.^ We must absolutely deny this insight to 
men. But then how do we know that in nature, if 
we could penetrate to the principle by which it 
specifies the universal laws known to us, there 
caunoiViG. hidden (in its mere mechanism) a sufficient 
ground of the possibility of organised beings without 
supposing any design in their production ? would 
it not be judged by us presumptuous to say this ? 
Probabilities here are of no account when we have 
to do with judgments of pure Reason. — We cannot 
therefore judge objectively, either affirmatively or 
negatively, concerning the proposition : " Does a 
Being acting according to design lie at the basis of 
'what wc rightly call natural purposes, as the cause 
of the world (and consequently as its author) ? " So 
much only is sure^ that if we are to judge according 
to what is permitted us to see by our own proper 
nature (the conditions and limitations of our Reason), 
we can place at the basis of the po.ssibility of these 
natural purposes nothing else than an intelligent 
Being. This alone is in conformity with the maxim 
of our reflective judgment and therefore with a 
ground which, though subjective, is inseparably 
attached to the human race. 

§ 76. Remark 
This consideration, which very well deserves to 

' [This principle, that for our imellect, ihe ccncepuon of an 
ori;auiH;tl body ):> impossible except by the aid of ilic Idea of design, 
is frequently iusibtcd on by Kunt. Professor Wallace points out 
(A'*ih/, jj. 110) that as far back as 1755, in ^is General Physioj^ny 
tutd Theory of thf Heavens, Kani classed the origin of animals .ind 
plants wiih ihc secrets of Providence and tlic mystical number 666 
"as one of the topics on which ingenuity and ihou;ght are occasion- 
ally wasted."] 




be worked out in detail in Transcendental Philosophy, 
can come in here only in passing, by way of elucida- 
tion (not as a proof of what is here proposed). 

Reason is a faculty of principles and proceeds in 
its furthest demand to the unconditioned : on the 
other hand, the Understanding stands at its service 
always only under a certain condition which must be 
given. But without concepts of Understanding, to 
which objective reality must be given, the Reason 
cannot form any objective (synthetical) judgment ; 
and contains in itself, as theoretical Reason, 
absolutely no constitutive but merely regulative 
principles. We soon see that where the Under- 
standing cannot follow, the Reason is transcendent, 
and shows itself in Ideas formerly established (as 
regulative principles), but not in objectively valid 
concepts. But the Understanding which cannot 
keep pace with Reason but yet is requisite for the 
validity of Objects, limits the validity of these Ideas 
to the subject, although [extending it] generally to all 
[subjects] of this kind. That is, the Understanding 
limits their validity to the condition, that according 
to the nature of our (human) cognitive faculties, or, 
generally, according to the concept which i3i}€ our- 
selves can moA'e of the faculty of a finite intelligent 
being, nothing else can or must be thought ; though 
this is not to assort that the ground of such a judg- 
ment lies in the Object. We shall adduce some 
examples which, though they are too important and 
difficult to impose them on the reader as proved 
propositions, yet will give him material for thought 
and may serve to elucidate what we are here 
specially concerned with. 

It is indispensably necessary for the human 
Understanding to distinguish between the possibility 

DIV. II f 76 



and the actuality of things. The ground for this 
Hes in the subject and in the nature of our cognitive 
faculties. Such a distinction (between the possible 
and the actual) would not be given were there not 
requisite for knowledge two quite different elements, 
Understanding for concepts and sensible intuition 
for Objects corresponding to them. If our Under- 
standing were intuitive it would have no objects but 
those which are actual. Concepts (which merely ex- 
tend to the possibility of an object) and sensible intui- 
tions (which give us something without allowing us 
to cognise it thus as an object) would both disappear. 
But now the whole of our distinction between the 
merely possible and the actual rests on this, that the 
former only signifies the positing of the representa- 
tion of a thing in respect of our concept, and, in 
general, in respect of the faculty of thought ; while 
the latter signifies the positing of the thing in itself 
[outside this concept].' The distinction, then, of 
possible things from actual is one which has merely 
subjective validity for the human Understanding, 
because we can always have a thing in our thoughts 
although it is [really] nothing, or we can represent a 
thing as given although we have no concept of it. 
The propositions therefore — that things can be 
possible without being actual, and that consequently 
no conclusion can be drawn as to actuality from 
mere possibility — are quite valid for human Reason, 
without thereby proving that this distinction lies in 
things themselves. That this does not follow, 
and that consequently these propositions, though 
valid of Objects (in so far as our cognitive faculty, as 
sensuously conditioned, busies itself with Objects of 
sense), do not hold for things in general, appears 
' [Second Edition.] 



PART 11 


from the irrepressible demand of Reason to assume 
something (the original grounil) necessarily existing 
as unconditioned, in which possibility and actuality 
should no longer be distinguished, and for which 
Idea our Understanding has absoKitely no concept ; 
i.€. it can find no way of representing such a thing 
and its mannerof existence. P'orifihe Undcrstand-M 
ing thinks such a thing (which it may do at pleasure), 
the thing is merely represented as possible. If it is 
conscious of it as given in intuition, then is it actual ; 
but nothing as to its possibility is thus thought. 
Hence the concept of an absolutely necessary' Being 
is no doubt an indispensable Idea of Reason, but yet h 
it is a problematical concept unattainable by the V 
human Understanding. It is indeed valid for the 
employment of our cognitive faculties in accordance 
with their peculiar constitution, but not valid of the 
Object. Nor is it valid for every knowing being, 
because I cannot presuppose in every such being 
thought and intuition as two distinct conditions of 
the exercise of its cognitive faculties, and conse- 
quently as conditions of the possibility and actuality 
of things. An Understanding into which this dis- 
tinction did not enter, might say : All Objects that I 
know are, i.e. exist ; and the possibility of some, 
which yet do not exist {i.e. the contingency or the 
contrasted necessity of those which do exist), might 
never come into the representation of such a being 
at all. But what makes it difficult for our Under- 
standing to treat its concepts here as Reason does, 
is merely that for it. as human Understanding, that 
is transcendent {i.€. impossible for the subjective 
conditions of its cognition) which Reason makes 
into a principle appertaining to the Object.— Here 
the maxim always holds, that all Objects whose 


mv. II f 76 



cogTiition surpasses the faculty of the Understanding 
are thought by us according to the subjective condi- 
tions of the exercise of that faculty which necessarily 
attach to our (human) nature. If judgments laid 
down in this way {ami there is no other alternative 
in regard to transcendent concepts) cannot be con- 
stitutive principles determining the Object as it is, 
they will remain regulative principles adapted to the 
human point of view, immanent in their exercise 
and sure. 

Just as Reason in the theoretical consideration 
of nature must assume the Idea of an unconditioned 
necessity of its oritjinal ground, so also it presupposes 
in the practical [sphere] its own {in respect of nature) 
unconditioned causality, or freedom, in that it is con- 
scious of its own moral command. Mere the objective 
necessity of the act, as a duty, is opposed to that 
necessity which it would have as an event, if its 
ground lay in nature and not in freedom {i.e. in the 
causality of Reason). Thtr morally absolutely neces- 
sary- act is regarded as physically quite contingent, 
since that which ought necessarily to happen often 
does not happen. It is clear then that it is owing 
to the subjective constitution of our practical faculty 
that the moral laws must be represented as commands, 
and the actions conforming to them as duties ; and 
that Reason expresses this necessity not by an "/V" 
(happens), but by an "ought to be." This would 
not be the case were Reason considered as in its 
causality independent of sensibility (as the subjective 
condition of its application to objects of nature), and 
so as cause in an intelligible world entirely in agree- 
ment with the moral law. For in such a world there 
would be no distinction between "ought to do" and 
" does," between a practical law of that which is 





possible through iis, and the theoretical law oft 
which is actual through us. Though, therefore, ar 
intelligible world in which everj'thing would be 
actual merely because (as something good) it if 
possible, together with freedom as its formal condi- 
tion, is for us a iranscendt:nt concept, not available 
as a constitutive principle to determine an Objeci 
and its objective reality ; yet, because of the consti- 
tution of our (in part sensuous) nature and faculty il 
is, so far as we can represent it in accordance with the 
constitution of our Reason, for us and for all rational 
beings that have a connection with the world ol 
sense, a universal re^latt've principle. This principle 
does not objectively determine the constitution ol 
freedom, as a form of causality, but it makes the 
rule of actions according to that Idea a command 
for every one, with no less validity than if it did 
so determine it. 

In the same way we may concede thus much as 
regards the case in hand. Between natural mechan- 
ism and the Tcchnlc of nature. i.€. its purjxjsive 
connection, we should iind no distinction, were it not 
that our Understanding is of the kind that must 
proceed from the universal to the particular. The 
Judgment then in respect of the particular can cog- 
nise no purposiveness and, consequently, can form no 
determinant judgments, without having a universal 
law under which to subsume that particular. Now 
the particular, as such, contains something contingent 
in respect of the universal, while yet Reason requires 
unity and conformity to law in the combination of 
particular laws of nature. This conformity of the 
contingent to law is called purposiveness ; and the 
derivation of particular laws from the universal, as 
regards their contingent element, is impossible a 

niv. 11 1 77 



priori through a determination of the concept of 
the Object. Hence, the concept of the purposive- 
ness of nature in its protlucts is necessary for human 
Judgment in respect of nature, but has not to do 
with the determination of objects. It is, therefore, 
a subjective principle of Reason for the judgment, 
which as regulative (not constitutive) is just as 
necessarily valid for our human Judgment as if it 
were an objective principle. 

§ 77- Of the peculiarity of the human Understand 
ing, by means of which the concept of a natural 
purpose is possible. 

We have brought forward i n the Remark 
peculiarities of our cognitive faculties (even the 
higher ones) which we are easily led to transfer 
as objective predicates to the things themselves. But 
they concern Ideas, no object adequate to which 
can be given in experience, and they could only 
serve as regulative principles in the prosecution 
of the latter. This is the case with the concept 
of a natural purpose, which concerns the cause 
of the possibility of such a predicate, which cause 
can only lie in the Idea. But the result correspond-, 
ing to it {i.e. the product) is given in nature ; and 
the concept of a causality of nature as of a being 
acting according to purposes seems to make the 
Idea of a natural purpose into a constitutive principle, 
which Idea has thus something different from all 
other Ideas. 

This difference consists, however, in the fact 
that the Idea in question is not a rational principle 
for the Understanding but for the Judgment. It 
is, therefore, merely the application of an Under- 


JCAirr's KRiTi/r oFjUDGMEtrr 


standing In general to possible objects of experience, 
in cases where the judgment can only be reflective, 
not determinant, and where, consequently, the object, 
although given in experience, cannot be detemiutaich' 
judgedXw conformity with the Idea (not to say with 
complete adequacy), but can only be reflected on. fl 

There emerges, therefore, a peculiarity of ott^ 
(human) Understantling in rcspectof the Judgment in 
its reflection upon things of nature. But if this be 
so, the Idea of a possible Understanding different 
from the human must be fundamental here. (Just 
so in the Kritik of Pure Reason we must have In 
our thoughts another possible [kind of] intuition, if 
ours is to be regarded as a particular species for which 
objects are only valid as phenomena). And so we 
are able to say : Certain natural products, from the 
special constitution of our Understanding, nntst ht 
considertd by us, in r^ard to their ix>ssibility, as if 
produced designedly and as purposes. But we do 
not, tlierefore, demand that there should be actuallv 
given a particular cause which has the representa- 
tion of a purpose as its determining ground ; and 
we do not deny that an Understanding, difterent 
from {if, higher than) the human, might find the 
ground of the possibility of such products of nature 
in the mechanism of nature. i>. in a causal combina- 
tion for which an Understanding is not explicitly 
assumed as cause. 

We have now to do with the relation of onTm 
Undersumding to the Judgment: viz. we seek fofl 
a certain contingency in the constitution of ou^ 
Understanding, to which we may point as a peculi- 
arity distinguishing it from other possible Under- . 

This contingency is found, naturally enough. 



in the particuiar, which the Judgment is to bring 
under the universal oi the concepts of Understand- 
ing. For the universal of (S«r (human) Understanding 
does not determine the particular, and it is contingent 
in how many ways different things which agree in 
a common characteristic may come before our 
perception. Our Understanding is a faculty of 
concepts, i.e. a discursive Understanding, for which 
it obviously must be contingent of what kind and 
how very different the particulars niay be that 
can be given to it in nature and brought under its 
ncepts. But now intuition also belongs to know- 
ge, and a faculty of a compiete spontaneity of 
intuition would be a cognitive faculty distinct from 
sensibility, and quite independent of it, in other 
words, an Understanding in the most general sense. 
Thus we can think an intuitive Understanding 
[negatively, merely as not discursive ^], which does 
not proceed from the universal to the particular, 
and so to the individual (through concepts). For 
it that contingency of the accordance of nature in 
its products according to pariiailar laws with the 
Understanding would not be met with ; and it is 
this contingency that makes it so hard for our 
Understanding to reduce the manifold of nature 
to the unity of knowledge. This reduction our 
Understanding can only accomplish by bringing 
natural characteristics into correspondence which is 
very contingent, with our faculty of concepts, and 
of which an intuitive Understanding would have 
no need. 

Our Understanding has then this peculiarity as 

concerns the Judgment, that in cognition by it the 

particular is not determined by the universal and 

t [Second Edition.] 





cannot therefore be derived from II ; but at the same 
time this particular in the manifold of nature must 
accord with the universal (by means of concepts and 
laws) that it may be capable of being subsumed 
under it. This accordance under such circumstances 
must be very contingent and without definite principle 
as concerns the Judgment. 

In order now to be able at least to think the possi- 
bility of such an accordance of things of nature with 
our Judgment (which accordance we represent as 
contingent and consequently as only possible by means 
of a purpose directed thereto), we must at the same 
time think of another Understanding, by reference to 
which and apart from any purpose ascribed to it, we 
may represent as necessary that accordance of natural 
laws with our Judgment, which for our Understand- 
ing is only thinkable through the medium of purposes. 

In fact our Understanding has the property of 
proceeding in its cognition, e.g. of the cause of a 
product, from the analytical-imhcfsai (concepts) to 
the particular (the given empirical intuition). Thus 
as regards the manifold of the latter it determines 
nothing, but must await this determination by the 
Judgment of the subsumption of the empirical 
intuition (if the object is a natural product) under 
the concept. We can however think an Under- 
standing which, being, not like ours, discursive, but 
intuitive, proceeds from the synthetical- universal 
(the intuition of a whole as such) to the particular, 
i,e. from the whole to the parts. The contingency of 
the combination of the parts, in order that a definite 
form of the whole shall be possible, is not implied 
by such an Understanding and its representation of 
the whole. Our Understanding requires this because 
it must proceed from the parts as universally con- 



ceived grounds to different forms possible to be 
subsumed under them, as consequences. According 
to the constitution of our Understanding a real 
whole of nature is regarded only as the effect of the 
concurrent motive powers of the parts. Supi^KJse 
then that we wish not to represent the possibility of 
the whole as dependent on that of the parts (after 
the manner of our discursive Understanding), but 
according to the standard of the intuitive (original) 
Understanding to represent the possibility of the 
parts (according to their constitution and combina- 
tion) as dependent on that of the whole, in accord- 
ance with the above peculiarity of our Understanding 
it cannot happen that the whole shall contain the 
ground of the possibility of the connection of the 
parts (which would be a contradiction in discursive 
cognition), but only that the rcpresenialioit of a 
whole may contain the ground of the possibility of 
its form and the connection of the parts belonging 
to it Now such a whole would be an effect {^product) 
the representation of which is regarded as the cause 
of its possibility, but the product of a cause whose 
determining ground is merely the representation of 
its effect is called a purpose. Hence it is merely a 
consequence of the particular constitution of our 
Understanding, that it represents products of nature 
as possible, according to a different kind of causality 
from that of the natural laws of matter, namely, that 
of ]>urposes and final causes. Hence also this 
principle has not to do with the possibility of such 
things themselves (even when considered as pheno- 
mena) according to the manner of their production, 
but merely with the judgment upon them which is 
possible to our Understanding. Here we see at 
once why it is that in natural science we are not 






long contented with an explanation of the products 
of nature by a causality according to purp^:^ses. I'or 
there we desire to judge of natural production merel 
in a manner conformable to our faculty of judging^ 
i.e. to the rcHective Judgment, and not in referenc 
to things themselves on behalf of the determinant 
Judgment. It is here not at all requisite to prov^fl 
that such an inieUcctus anhetypus is possible, but 
only that we are led to the Idea of it, — -which too 
contains no contradiction, — in contrast to our dis-_ 
cursive Understanding which has need of imag< 
{intellectus ectypus) and to the contingency of i 

If we consider a material whole, according to i 
form, as a product of the parts with their power 
and faculties of combining with one another (as wel! 
as of bringing in foreign materials), we represent tpw 
ourselves a mechanical mode of production of it,V 
But in this way no concept emerges of a whole 
as purpose, whose internal possibility presuppose 

/throughout the Idea of a whole on which depem 
( the constitution and mode of action of the parts, a 
we must represent to ourselves an organised body. 
f It docs not follow indeed, as has been shown, that the 
mechanical production of such a body is impossible ; 
for to say so would be to say that it would be 
impossible (contradictory) for any Understanding to 
represent to itself such a unity in the connection o 
the manifold, without the Idea of the unity being at 
the same time its producing cause, i.e. without 
designed protluction. This, however, would follow^ 
in fact if we were justified in regarding material 
beings as thincjs in themselves. For then the unity 
that constitutes the ground of the possibility 
natural formations would be simply the unity 


Div. n I 77 ^ SUr£XS£AS/SL£ SUBSTRATE 


space. But space is no real ground of the products, 
hut only their formal condition, although ii has this 
similarity to the real ground which we seek that in 
it no part can be determined except in relation to the 
whole (the representation of which thL-refore lies at 
the ground of the possibility of the parts). But now 
it is at least possible to consider the material world 
as mere phenomenon, and to think as its substrate 
something like a thing in itself (which is not pheno- 
menon), and to attach to this a corresponding 
intellectual intuition (even though it is not ours). 
Thus there would be, although incognisable by us. 
a supersensible real ground for nature, to which we 
ourselves belong. In this we consider according to 
mechanical laws what is necessary in nature regarded 
as an object of Sense ; but we consider according to 
ideological laws the agreement and unity of its 
particular laws and its forms^ — which in regard to 
mechanism we must judge contingent — regarded as 
objects of Reason (in fact the whole of nature as a 
system). Thus we should judge nature according 
to two different kinds of principles without the 
mechanical way of explanation being shut out by 
the teleological, as if they contradicted one another. 
From this we are permitted to see what otherwise, 
though we could easily surmise it, could with difficulty 
be maintained with certainty and proved, viz. that 
the principle of a mechanical derivation of purposive 
natural products is consistent with the teleological, 
but in no way enables us to dispense with it. In a 
thing that we must judge as a natural purpose (an 
organised being) we can no doubt try all the known 
and yet to be discovered laws of mechanical produc- 
tion, and even hope to make good progress there- 
with ; but we can never get rid of ihe call for a 


K-AJ^T'S KRITIK OF /(/PG.'ifEA'-r 


quite dilTerent ground of production for the possi- 
bility of such a product, viz. causality by means of 
purposes. Absolutely no human Reason (in fact 
no finite Reason like ours in quality, however much 
it may surpass it in degree) can hope to understand 
the production of even a blade of grass by mere 
mechanical causes. As regards the possibility of 
such an object, the tcleological connection of causes 
and effects is quite Indispensable for the Judgment, 
even for studying it by the clue of experience. For 
external objects as phenomena an adequate ground 
related to purposes cannot be met with ; this, although 
it lies in nature, must only be sought in the super- 
sensible substrate of nature, from all possible insight 
into which we arc cut off. Hence it is absolutely 
impossible for us to produce from nature itself 
grounds of explanation for purposive combinations; 
and it is necessary by the constitution of the human 
cognitive faculties to seek the supreme ground of 
these purposive combinations in an original Under- 
standing as the cause of the world. 

§ 78. 0/ the union 0/ the principk of the universal 
mechanism of mat tertmth the tcieohgical pnn~ 
ciple in the Technic of nature. 

It is infinitely important for Reason not to let 
slip the mechanism of nature in its products, and in 
their explanation not to pass it by, because without 
it no insight into the nature of things can l:)e attained. 
Suppose it admitted that a supreme Architect 
immediately created the forms of nature as they 
have been from the beginning, or that He predeter- 
mined those which in the course of nature continu- 
ally form themselves on the same model. Our 

DIV. II I 78 



knowledge of nature is not thus in the least furthered, 
because we cannot know the mode of action of that 
Being and the Ideas which are to contain the 
principles of the possibility of natural beings, and 
we cannot by them explain nature as from above 
downwards {a priori). And if, starting from the 
forms of the objects of experience, from below 
upwards {a posteriori), we wish to explain the \ 
purposiveness, which we believe is met with in ex- 
perience, by appealing to a cause working in accord- 
ance with purposes, then is our explanation quite ( 
tautological and we are only mocking Reason with I 
words. Indeed when we lose ourselves with this 
way of explanation in the transcendent, whither 
natural knowledge cannot follow, Reason is seduced 
into poetical extravagance, which it is its peculiar 
destination to avoid. 

On the other hand, it is just as necessary a 
maxim of Reason not to pass by the principle of 
puri)oscs in the products of nature, For. although 
it does not make their mode of origination any more 
comprehensible, yet it is a heuristic principle for 
investigating the particular laws of nature; suppos- 
ing even that we wish to make no use of it for 
explaining nature itself, in which we still always 
speak only of natural purposes, although it appa- 
rently exhibits a designed unity of purpose, — i.e. 
without seeking the ground of their possibility beyond 
nature. '' But since wc must come in the end to this 
latter question, it is just as necessary to think for 
nature a particular kind of causality which does not 
present itself in it. as the mechanism of natural causes 
which does. To the receptivity of several forms, 
different from those of which matter is susceptible by 
mechanism, must be added a spontaneity of a cause 




(which therefore cannot be matter), without which no 
ground can be assigned for those forms. No doubt 
jReason, before it takes this step, must proceed with 
Icaution, and not try to explain tclcologfcally ever\' 
(Technic of nature, i.e. every productive faculty of 
mature which displays in itself (as in regular bodies) 
purjjosivcncss of figure to our mere appreliension ; 
but must always regard such as so far mechanically 
possible. But on that account to wish entirely to 
exclude the teleological principle, and to follow 
simple mechanism only — in cases where, in the 
rational Investigation of the possibility of natural 
forms through their causes, purposiveness shows 
itself quite undeniably as the reference to a different 
kind of causality — to do this must make Reason 
fantastic, and send it wandering among chimeras of 
unthinkable natural faculties ; just as a mere teleo- 
logical mode of explanation which takes no account 
of natural mechanism makes it visionary. 

In the same natural thing both principles cannot 
be connected as fundamental propositions of explana- 
tion (deduction) of one by the other, i.e. they do not 
unite for the determinant Judgment as dogmatical 
and constitutive principles of insight into nature. If 
I choose, e.g., to regard a maggot as the product of 
the mere mechanism of nature (of the new formation 
that it produces of itself, when its elements are set 
free by corruption), I cannot derive the same product 
from the same matter as from a causality that acts 
according to purposes. Conversely, if I regard the' 
same product as a natural purpose, I cannot count 
on any mechanical mode of its production and regard 
this as the constitutive principle of my judgment 
upon its possibility, and so unite both principles. 
One method of explanation excludes the other ; 



even supposing that objectively both grounds of 
the possibility of such a product rested on a single 
ground, to which we did not pay attention. The 
principle which should render possible the compati- 
bility of both fn judging of nature must be placed 
in that which lies outside both (and consequently 
outside the possible empirical representation of 
nature), but yet contains their ground, i.e. in the 
supersensible ; and each of the two methods of 
explanation must be referred thereto. Now of this 
we can have no concept but the indeterminate con- 
cept of a ground, which makes the judging of nature 
by empirical laws possible, but which we cannot 
determine more nearly by any predicate. Hence the 
union of both principles cannot rest upon a ground 
oi exp/analian of the possibility of a product accord- 
ing to given laws, for the ditcrminani Judgment, bur/ 
only upon a ground of its exposition for the re-ficctive 
Judgment. — To explain is to derive from a principle, 
which therefore we must clearly know and of which 
we can give an account. No doubt the principle of 
the mechanism of nature and that of its causality 
in one and the same natural product must coalesce 
in a single higher principle, which is their common 
source, because otherwise they could not subsist 
side by side in the observation of nature. But if 
this principle,, objectively common to the two, which 
therefore warrants the association of the maxims of 
natural investigation depending on both, be such 
that, though it can be pointed to, it cannot be 
determinately known nor clearly put forward for use 
in cases which arise, then can we fronL_such a 
prmciple draw no explanation, i.e. no clear and 
determinate derivation of the possibility of a natural 
product in accordance with those two heterogene- 









ous principles, cut now tnc principle common 
the mechanical and teleological derivations is the 
siipersensi//ie, which we must place at the basis of 
nature, regarded as phenomenon. And of this, in a 
theoretical point of view, we cannot form the smallest 
positive determinate concept. It cannot, therefore, 
in any way be explained how. according to it as 
principle, nature (in its particular laws) constitutes 
for us one system, which can be cognised as possible 
either by the principle of physical development or 
by that of final causes. If it happens that objects 
of nature present themselves which cannot be 
thought by us, as regards their possibility, according 
to the principle of mechanism (which always has 
a claim on a natural bting), without relying on 
teleological propositions, we can only make an hypo- 
thesis. Namely, we suppose that we may hopefully 
investigate natural laws with reference to both _ 
(according as the possibility of its product is cognis- 1 
able by our Understanding by one or the other 
principle), without stumbling at the apparent con- M 
tradiction which comes into view between the prin- ™ 
ciples by which they arc judged. For at least the 
possibility is assured that both may be united fl 
objectively in one principle, since they concern pheno- 
mena that presuppose a supersensible ground. 
C Mechanism, then, and the teleological (designed) 
Technic of nature, in respect of the same product 
j and its possibility, may stand under a common 
[supreme principle of nature in particular laws. But 
since this principle is transcendmi we cannot, because 
of the limitation of our Understanding, unite both 
principles in the explanation of the same production. 
of nature even if the inner possibility of this product 
is only intelligibk [verstandlich] through a causality 


DIV. [I f 78 



according to purposes (as is the case with organised ■ 
matter). VVe revert then to the above fundamental 
proposition of Teleology. According to the con- 
stitution of the human Understanding, no other 
than designedly working causes can be assumed 
for the possibility of organised beings in nature; 
and the mere mechanism of nature cannot be 
adequate to the explanation of these its products. 
But we do not attempt to decide anything by this 
fundamental proposition as to the possibility of such 
things themselves. 

This is only a maxim of the reflective, not of 
the determinant Jiiclgmenl; consequently only sub- 
jectively valid for us, not objectively for the possi- 
bility of things themselves of this kind (in which 
both kinds of production may well cohere in one 
and the same ground). Further, without any con-j 
cept, — besides the teleologically conceived method 
of production. — of a simultaneously presented 
mechanism of nature, no judgment can be passed' 
on this kind of production as a natural product. 
Hence the above maxim leads to the necessity of 
an unification of both principles in judging of things 
as natural purposes in themselves, but does not lead 
us to substitute one for the other cither altogether 
or in certain parts. For in the place of what is'\ 
thought (at least by us) as possible only by design I 
we cannot set mechanism, and in the place of what "tt 
is cognised as mechanically necessary we cannot set 
f contingency, which would need a purpose as its 
determining ground ; but we can only subordinate 
the one (Mechanism) to the other (designed Tech- 
nic), which may quite well be the case according to 
the transcendental principle of the purposiveness of 



PART tl 

For where purposes are thought as grounds of 
the possibility of certain things, we must assume a 
means [thereto] whose law of working requires for 
itself nothing presupposing a purpose, which law 
consequently can i^e mechanical and yet a cause 
/ subordinated to designed effects. ZThus— in the 
organic products of nature, and also when prompted 
by their infinite number, we assume (at least as a 
permissible hypothesis) design in the combination of 
natural causes by particular laws as a universal 
principle of the reflective Judgment for the whole of 
nature (the world), — we can think a great and 
indeed universal combination of mechanical with 
ideological laws in the productions of nature, 
without interchanging the principles by which they 
*' are judged or putting one in the place of the other. 
For, in a teleological judgment, the matter, even if 
the form that it assumes be judged possible only 
by design, can also, conformably to the mechanical 
laws of its nature, be subordinated as a means lo 

y, the represented purpose. But, since the ground of 
this compatibility lies in that which is neither one 
nor the other (n_eilher mechanism nor purposive 
combi nation! bu t is the jujDers ensib le substrate o f 
nature of which we know notTnng, the two ways of 

\ representing the possibility of such Objects are not 

/ to be blended together by our (human) Reason. 
However, we cannot judge of their possibility 
otherwise than by judging them as ultimately 
resting on a supreme Understanding by the 
connection of final causes ; and thus the teleo- 

, logical method of explanation is not eliminated. 

iv Now it is quite indeterminate, and for our 
Understanding always indeterminable, how much 
the mechanism of nature does as a means towards 


DIV. II f 78 



each final design in nature. However, on account 
of the above-mentioned intelligible principle of 
the possibih'ty of a nature in general, it may be 
assumed that ii is possible throughout according to 
the two kinds of universally accordant laws (the 
phj'sical and those of final causes), although we 
cannot see into the way how this takes place. 
Hence we do not know how far the mechanical 
method of explanation which is possible for us may 
extend. So much only is certain that, so far as we 
can go in this direction, it must always be inadequate 
for things that we once recognise as natural 
purposes ; and therefore we must, by the consti- 
tution of our Understanding, subordinate these 
grounds collectively to a tcleological principle. X 

Hereon is based a privilege, and on account of 
the importance which the study of nature by the 
principle of mechanism has for the theoretical use of 
<uitJieasx>HT^alsa_aJL_appeal. We sHoiiId exj5Ta1n"aTr 
products and occurrences in nature, even the most 
puqjosive, by mechanism as far as is in our power 
(the limits of which we cannot give an account of in 
this kind of investigation). But at the same time 
we are not to lose sight of the fact that those things 
which we cannot even state for investigation except 
under the concept of a purpose of. Reason, must, in 
conformity with the essential constitution of ourl 
Reason, and notwithstanding those mechanical' 
causes, be subordinated by us finally to causality in- 
accordance with purposes. 


§ 79. Whether icleoiogy must he treated as it" it 
belonged to tht doctrine of nature 

Every science must have its definite position in 
the encyclopaedia of all the sciences. If it is a 
philosophical science its position must be either in 
the theoretical or practical part. If again it has 
its place in the former of these, it must be either in 
the doctrine of nature, so far as it concerns that 
which can be an object of experience (in the 
doctrine of bodies, the doctrine of die soul, or the 
univLTsal science of the world), or in the doctrine of 
God (the original ground of the world as the 
complex of all objects of experience). 

Now the question is, what place is due to 
Teleology ? Does :t belong to Natural Science 
(properly so called) or to Theology ? One of the 
two it must be ; for no science belongs to the 
transition from one to the other, because this 
transition only marks the articulation or organ- 
isation of the system, and not a place in it. 

That it does not belong to Theology as a part 
of it, although it may be made of the most 
important use therein, is self-evident. For it has as 

* [This is marked as an App<n<iix in the Second Edition.] 




its objects, natural productions, and their cause, and 
although it refers at the same time to the latter as 
to a ground lying outside of and beyond nature (a 
Divine Author), yet it does not do this for the 
determinant but only for the reflective Judgment in 
the consideration of nature (in order to guide our 
judgment on things in the world by means of such 
an Idea as a regulative principle, in conformity with 
the human Understanding). 

But it appears to belong just as little to Natural 
Science, which needs determinant and not merely 
reflective principles in order to supply objective 
grounds for natural effects. 1 n fact, nothing is 
gained for the theory of nature or the mechanical 
explanation of its phenomena by means of its 
effective causes, by considering them as connected 
according to the relation of jiurposes. The 
exhibition of the purposes of nature in its products, 
so far as they constitute a system according to 
teleological concepts, properly belongs only to a 
description of nature which is drawn up in accord- 
ance with a pjurticular guiding thread. Here 
Reason, no doubt, accomplishes a noble work, 
instructive and practically purposive in many points 
of view ; but it gives no information as to the 
origin and the inner possibility of these forms, 
which is the special business of theoretical Natural 
Science. Teleology, therefore, as science, belongs 
to no Doctrine, but only to Kritik ; and to the 
Kritik of a special cognitive faculty, viz. Judgment. 
But so far as it contains principles a priori, it can 
and must furnish the method by which nature must 
be judged according to the principle of linal causes. 
Hence its Methodology has at least negative 
influence upon the procedure in theoretical Natural 


frA^rT*S KKir/K OF/fDGAfENr 


Science, and also upon the relation which this cai 
have in Meiaphysic to Theology as its prepay 

§ So, Of the necessary subordination of the mecham 
cal to the tekoiogieal prindpU in the explanation^ 
of a thing as a natura/ purpose. 


The privi/ege ef aiming at a merely mechanic, 
method of explanation of all natural products is in 
itself quite unlimited; but thc- facu/ty of a/taiftinjM 
thereto is by the constitution of our Understanding!^ 
so far as it has to do with things as natural purposes* 
not only very much limited but also clearly boundedj| 
For, according to a principle of the Judgment, by 
this process alone nothing can be accomplished 
towards an explanation of these things ; and con- 
sequently the judgment upon such products mus 
always be at the same time subordinated by us to 
teleological principle. 

It is therefore rational, even meritorious, 
pursue natural mechanism, in respect of the e: 
planation of natural products, so far as can be done 
with probability ; and if we give up the attempt it is 
not because it is impossible in itscif to meet in this 
path with the purposivencss of nature, but only 
because it is impossible for us as men. For there 
would be required for that an intuition other than 
sensuous, and a determinate knowledge of the 
intelligible substrate of nature from which a ground 
could be assigned for the mechanism of phenomena 
according to particular laws, which quite surpass* 
our faculties. 

Hence if the naturalist would not waste hil 
labour he must in judging of things, the concept 




any of which is indubitably established as a natural 
purpose (organised beings), always lay down as basis 
an original oi^anisation, which uses that very 
mechanism in order to produce fresh organised 
forms or to develop the existing ones into new 
shapes (wliich, however, always result from that 
purpose and conformably to it). 

It is praiseworthy by the aid of comparative 
anatomy to go through the ^reat creation of organ- 
ised natures. In order to see whether there may not 
be in it something similar to a system and also in 
accordance with the principle of production. For 
otherwise we should have to be content with the 
mere principle of judgment (which gives no insight 
into their production) and, discouraged, to give up 
all claim to natural insight in this field. The agree- 
ment of so many genera of animals in a certain 
common schema, which appears to be fundamental 
not only in the structure of their bones but also In 
the disposition of their remaining parts, — so that 
with an admirable simplicity of original outline, a 
great variety of species has been produced by the 
shortening of one mcmlxT and the lengthening of 
another, the involution of this part and the evolution 
of that.^allows a ray of hope, however faint, to 
penetrate into our minds, that here something may 
be accomplished by the aid of the principle of the 
mechanism of nature (without which there can be no 
natural science in general). This analogy of forms, ^ 
which with all their differences seem to have been 
produced according to a common original type, i 
strengthens our suspicions of an actual relationship 
between them in their production from a common 
parent, through the gradual approximation of one 
animal-genus to another — from those in which the 






principle of purposes seems to be best authenticated, 
i.e. frona man, down to the polype, and again from 
this down to mosses and lichens, and finally to the 
lowest stage of nature noticeable by us, viz. to crude 
matter. And so the whole Technic of nature, which 
is so incomprehensible to us in organised beings 
that we believe ourselves compelled to think a 
different principle for it, seems to be derived from 
matter and its powers according to mechanical laws 
(like those by which it works in the formation of 

Here it is permissible for the Archaologist of 
nature to derive from the sur\'iving traces of its 
oldest revolutions, according to all its mechanism 
known or supposed by him, that great family of 
creatures (for so we must represent them if the said 
thoroughgoing relationship is to have any ground). 
He can suppose the bosom of mother earth, as she 
passed out of her chaotic state (like a great animal), 
to have given birth in the beginning to creatures of 
less purposive form, that these again gave birth to 
others which formed themselves with greater adapta- 
tion to their place of birth and their relations to each 
other; until this womb becoming torpid and ossified, 
limited its births to definite species not further 
modifiable, and the manifoldness remained as it 
was at the end of the operation of that fruitful 
formative power. — Only he must still in the end 
ascribe to this universal mother an organisation 
purposive in respect of all these creatures ; otherwise 
it would not be possible to think the possibility of 
the purposive form of the products of the animal and 
vegetable kingdoms.^ He has then only pushed 

^ We may call a hypolliesis of tltis kind a daring venture of 
reason, and (here may be few even of ihe mosi acute naturalists 




further back the ground of explanation and cannot 
pretend to have made the development of those two 
kingdoms independent of the condition of final 

F.ven as concerns the variation to which certain 
individuals of organised genera are accidentally 
subjected, if we find that the character so changed 
is hereditary and is taken up into the generative 
power, then we cannot pertinently judge the varia- 
tion to be anything else than an occasional develop- 
ment of purposive capacities originally present in 
the species with a view to the preservation of the 
race. For in the complete inner purposiveness of 
an organised being, the generation of its like is 
closely bound up with the condition of taking 
nothing up into the generative power which does 
not belong, in such a system of purposes, to one of 
its undeveloped original capacities. Indeed, if we 
depart from this principle, we cannot know with 
certainty whether several parts of the form which is 
now apparent in a species have not a contingent and 
unpurposive origin ; and the principle of Teleology, 
to judge nothing in an organised being as unpur- 

throu)^ whose head it has not sometimes passed. Kor it is not 
absurd, like thai gentratio ttquivoca by which is underslootl the 
produttion of an organised bciny ihrguifh the incclianicb of crude 
unorganised matter. It would always x^\ws\vi gciuraiM unrtfoca in the 
most univcrs.iL sense of t]ie word, for it only considers one organic 
being as derived from anoOier organic being, ahhough from one 
which is spcttfitally different ; cf". certain water-animals transform 
themseU-es gradu:illy into marsh-.initnals and from these, after 
some generations, into land -animals. A priori^ in the judgment 
of Reason alone, there is no contradiction here. Only experience 
givers no example of it ; according to experience all generation 
Uiat we know is j;en<rratio homonyma. This is not merely 
univ&ca in contrast to the generation out of unorgani&cd material, 
but in the organisation the product is of like kind to thai which 
produced it ; and gcmraiio hileronyma, so far as our empirical 
knowledge of nature extends, is nowhere found. 



PAST 1( 

posive which maintains it in its propagation, would 
be very unreliable in its application and would be 
valid solely for the original stock (of which we have 
no further knowledge). 

Hjtnte ' takes exception to those who find it 
requisite to assume for all such natural purposes a 
teleological principle of judgment, i.e, an architectonic 
U nderstanding. He says that it may fairly be asked : 
how is such an Understanding possible ? How can 
the manifold faculties and properties that constitute 
the possibility of an Understanding, which has at the 
same time executive might, be found so purposively 
together in one Being ? But this objection is with- 
out weight. For the wliole difficulty which surrounds 
the question concerning the first production of a 
thing containing in itself purposes and only compre- 
hensible by means of them, rests on the further 
question as to the unity of the ground of the com- 
bination in this product of the various elements [des 
MannichfaltigenJ which are external to one another. 
For if this ground be placed in the Understanding of 
a producing cause as simple substance, the question, 
so far as it is teleological, is sufficiently answered ; 
but if the cause be sought merely in matter as an 

' [It is probable that Kant alludes here to Hume's Essay On a 
PrmiitUnce and a Future Stiify, 5 "i of (he htguity. Flume argues 
that though the inference from an effect to an intelligent cause may 
be valid in the case of human contrivance, it is not legitimate to rise 
by a like argument to Supreme Intelligence. "In human nature 
there is a certain expcricnrccl coherence of designs and inclinations ; 
so that when from any fact we have discovered one intention of any 
man, it may often be reasonable from experience to infer another, 
and draw a long chain of conclusions concerning his past or future 
conduct. But this method of reasoning can never have place with 
regard to a being so remote and incomprehensible, who bears much 
less analogy to any other being in the universe than the sun to 
a waxen taper, and who discovers himself only by some faint traces 
or outlines, beyond which we have no authority to ascribe to him 
any attribute or perfection."] 



aggregate ofniany substances external to one another, 
the unity of the principle is quite wanting for the 
internally purposive form of its formation, and the 
autocracy of matter in productions which can only 
be conceived by our Understanding as purposes is 
a word without meaning. 

Hence it comes to pass that those who seek a 
supreme ground of possibility for the objectively- 
puiposive forms of matter, without attributing to it 
Understanding, either make the world-whole into a 
single all-embracing substance (Pantheism), or 
(which is only a more determinate explanation of 
the former) into a complex of many determinations 
inhering in a single simple substance (Spinozism) ; 
merely in order to satisfy that condition of all 
purpostveness — the unity of ground. Thus they do 
justice indeed to one condition of the problem, viz. 
the unity in the purposive combination, by means of 
the mere ontological concept of a simple substance ; 
but they adduce nothing for the oi/icr condition, 
viz. the relation of this substance to its result as 
purpose, throvigli which relation that ontological 
ground is to be more closely determined in respect 
of the question at issue. Hence they answer tlu 
whoic question in no way. It remains absolutely 
unanswerable (for our Reason) if we do not repre- 
sent that original ground of things, as simple 
substance ; its property which has reference to the 
specific constitution of the forms of nature grounded 
thereon, viz. its purposive unity, as the property of 
an intelligent substance ; and the relation of these 
forms to this intelligence (on account of the contin- 
gency which we ascribe to everything that we think 
possible only as a purpose) as that of causality. 



PART 11 

§ Si. Of the association of mechanism with the teleO' 
logical principle in the explanation of a natural 
purpose as a natural product 

According to the preceding paragraphs thei 
mechanism of nature alone does not enable us to 
think the possibih'ty of an organised being ; but (at 
least according to the constitution of our cognitive 
faculty') it must be originally subordinated to a 
cause working designedly. But, just as little is the 
mere teleologica! ground of such a being sufficient 
for considering it and judging it as a product of 
nature, if the mechanism of the latter be not associ- 
ated with the former, like the instrument of a cause 
working designedly, to whose purposes nature is 
subordinated in its mechanical laws. The possi- 
bility of such a unification of two quite different 
kinds of causality, — of nature in its universal con- 
formity- to law with an Idea which limits it to a 
particular form, for which it contains no ground in 
itself — is not comprehended by our Reason. It lies 
in the supersensible substrate of nature, of which w< 
can determine nothing positively, except that it is 
the being in itself of which we merely know the 
phenomenon. Hut the principle, "all that we as- 
sume as belonging to this nature {phenomenon) and 
as its product, must be thought as connected with 
it according to mechanical laws," has none the 
less force, because without this kind of causality 
organised beings (as purposes of nature) would not 
be natural products. 

Now if the teleological principle of the produc- 
tion of these beings be assumed (as is inevitable), 
we can place at the basis of the cause of their 



internally purposive form either Occasionalism or 
Pre-established Harmony, According to the former 
the Supreme Cause of the world would, conform- 
ably to its Idea, furnish immediately the organic 
formation on the occasion of every union of inter- 
mingling materials. According to the latter it 
would, in the original products of its wisdom, only 
have supplied the capacity by means of which an 
organic being produces another of like kind, and 
the species perpetually maintains itself; whilst the 
loss of individuals is continually replaced by that 
nature which at the same time works towards their 
destruction. If we assume the Occasionalism of the 
production of organised beings, all nature is quite 
lost, and with it all employment of Reason in judging 
of the possibility of such products ; hence we may 
suppose that no one will adopt this sy.stcm, who has 
anything to do with philosophy. 

[The theory of] Pre-established Harmony may 
proceed in two different ways. It regards every 
organised being as generated by one of like kind, 
either as an educt or ^product. The system wliicJi 
regards generations as mere educts is called the 
theory of individual preformation or the theory of 
evolution : that which regards them as products is 
entitled the system of epigencsis. This latter may 
also be entitled the system of getteric preformation, 
because the productive faculty of the generator and 
consequently the specific form would be virtually 
preformed according to the inner purposive capacities 
which are part of its stock. In correspondence with 
this the opposite theory of individual preformations 
would be better entitled the theory of in volution. 

Tlic advocates of the theory of evolution, who 
remove every individual from the formative power 




of nature, in order to make it come immediately 
from the hand of the Creator, would, however, not 
venture to regard this as happening according to 
the hypothesis of Occasionalism. For according 
to this the union is a mere formality, a propos of 
which a supreme intelligent Cause of the world has 
concluded to immediately form a fruit, and only to 
Jeave to its parent its development and nourishment. 
They declare thenisclvcs for preformation ; as if it 
were not all the same, whether a supernatural origin 
is assigned to these forms in the beginning or in the 
course of the world. On the contrary, a great 
number of supernatural arrangements would be 
spared by occasional creation, which would be 
requisite, in order that the embr)'0 formed in the 
Ixigtnning of the world might not be injured up to 
[the moment ofj its development by the destructive 
powers of nature, and might keep itself unharmed ; 
and there would also be requisite an incalculably 
greater number of such preformed beings than would 
ever be developed, and with them many creations 
would be made without need and without purpose. 
They would, however, be willing to leave at least 
something to nature, so as not to fall into a com- 
plete Hyperphysic which can dispense with all 
natural explanations. It is true, they hold so fast 
by their Hyperphysic that they find even in abortions 
(which it is quite impossible to take for purposes of 
jiature) an admirable purposiveness ; though it be 
only directed lo the fact that an anatomist would 
take exception to it as a purposeless purposiveness, 
and would feel a disheartened wonder thereat. But 
the production of hybrids could absolutely not be 
accommodated with the system of preformation ; 
and to the seeds of the male creature, to which they 

ArrENDix I Si 



had attributed nothing but the mechanical property 
of servintj as the first means of nourishment for the 
embryo, they must attribute in addition a purposive 
formative power, which in the case of the product of 
two creatures of the same genus they would concede 
to neither parent. 

On the other hand, even if we do not reco^jnise 
the great superiority which the theorj' of Epigenesis 
has over the former as regards the empirical grounds 
of its proof, still prior to proof Reason views this 
way of explanation with peculiar favour. For in 
respect of the things which we can only represent as 
possible originally according to the causality of 
purposes, at least as concerns their propagation, this 
theory regards nature as self- producing, not merely 
as self-evolving : and so with the least expenditure 
of the supernatural leaves to nature all that follows 
after the first beginning (though without determining 
anything about this first beginning by which Physic 
generally is thwarted, however it may essay its 
explanation by a chain of causes). 

As regards this theory of Epigenesis, no one has 
contributed more either to its proof or to the establish- 
ment of the legitimate principles of its application, — 
partly by the limitation of a too presumptuous em- 
ployment of it, — than Herr Hofr. Blumcnbach} In 
all physical explanations of these formations he 
starts from organised matter. That crude matter 
should have originally formed itself according to. 
mechanical laws, that life should have sprung from 
the nature of what is lifeless, that matter should 
have been able to dispose itself into the form 

^ Q. K. Blumenbach (1752-1840), a German naturalist and 
professor at Gottingen ; tYiCAyiihoroi/ns/itv/ionesPhysMogica^ij^j) 
and other works.] 




of a self-maintaining purposiveness — this he rightly 
declares to be contradictory to Reason. But at the 
same time he leaves to natural mechanism under 
this to us indispensable principle of an original 
organisation, an innloterininablc but yet unniistake- 
able element, in reference to which the faculty of 
matter in an organised body is called by him a 
f&rmative impuisc (in contrast to, and yet standing 
under thi- higher guidance and direction of, that 
merely mechanical yi;?7«rt//Vf^tf?wr universally resi- 
dent in matter). 

§ 82. Of the teleolo^cal system in the external 
relations of organised beings 

By external purposiveness I mean that by which 
one thing of nature serves another as means to a 
purpose. Now things which havt- no internal pur- 
posiveness and which presuppose none for their 
possibility, e.g. earth, air, water, etc., may at the same 
time be very purposive externally, i.e. in relation to 
other beings. But these latter must be organised 
beings, i.e. natural purposes, for otherwise the former 
could not be judged as means to them. Thus water, 
air, and earth cannot be regarded as means to the 
raising of mountains, because mountains contain 
nothing in theniselves that requires a ground of 
their possibility according to purposes, in reference to 
which therefore their caiise can never be represented 
under the predicate of a means (as useful therefor). 

External purposiveness is a quite difierent con- 
cept from that of internal purposiveness, which 
is bound up with the possibility of an object irre- 
spective of its actuality being itself a purpose. We 
can ask about an organised being the question : 




What is it for ? But we cannot easily ask this 
about things in which we recognise merely the 
working of nature's mechanism. For in the 
former, as regards tlieir interna! possibility, we repre- 
sent a causality according to purposes, a creative 
Understanding, and we refer this active faculty to 
its determining ground, viz. design. There is only 
one external purposiveness which Is connected with 
the internal purposiveness of organisation, and yet 
serves in the external relation of a means to a 
purpose, without the question necessarily arising, as 
to what end this being so organised must have 
existed for. This is the organisation of both sexes 
in their mutual relation for the propagation of their 
kind ; since here we can always ask, as in the case 
of an individual, why must such a pair exist ? The 
answer is : This pair first constitutes an orj^anising 
whole, though not an organised whole in a single 

If we now ask, wherefore anything is, the answer 
is either: Its presence and its production have no 
reference at all to a cause working according to 
design, and so we always refer its origin to the 
mechanism of nature, or : There is somewhere a de- 
signed ground of its presence (as a contingent natural 
being). This thought we can hardly separate from 
the concept of an organised thing; for, since we 
must place at the basis of its internal possibility a 
causality of final causes and an Idea lying at the 
ground of this, we cannot think the existence of this 
product except as a purpose. For the represented 
effect, the representation of which is at the same 
time the determining ground of the intelligent cause 
working towards its prockiction. is called a fiut^ose. 
In this case therefore we can either say : The 




purpose of the existence of such a natural being 
is in Itself; i.e. it is not merely a purpose but a 
final purpose, or : This is external to it in another 
natural being, i.e, it exists purposively not as a 
final purpose, but necessarily as a means. 

But if we go through the whole of nature 
we find in it. as nature, no being which could 
make claim to the eminence of being the final 
purpose of creation ; and we can even prove a priori 
that what might be for nature an ultimate purpose, 
according to all the thinkable deierminalions and 
properties wherewith one could endow it, could yet 
as a natural thing never be 2^ final purpose. 

If we consider the vegetable kingdom we might 
at first sight, on account of the immeasurable 
fertility with which it spreads itself almost on every 
soil, be led to take it for a mere product of that 
mechanism which nature displays in the formations 
of the mineral kingdom. But a more intimate 
knowledge of its indescribably wise organisation 
does not permit us to hold to this thought, but 
prompts the question : What are these things 
created for ? If it is answered : For the animal 
kingdom, which is thereby nourished and has thus 
been able to spread over the earth in genera so 
various, then the further question comes : What 
are these plant-devouring animals for ? The answer 
would be something like this : For beasts of prey, 
which can only be nourished by that which has life. 
Finally wc have the question : What are these last, 
as well as the first -mentioned natural kingdoms, 
good for .'* For man. In reference to the manifold 
use which his Understanding teaches him to make 
of all these creatures. He is the ultimate purpose 
of creation here on earth, because he is the only 




being upon it who can form a concept of purposes, 
and who can by his Reason make out of an 
aggregate of purposively formed things a system of 

We might also with the chevalier Linnccus go 
the ap]>arently opposite way and say : The herbivo- 
rous animals are there to moderate the luxurious 
growth of the vegetable kingdom, by which many 
of its species are choked. The carnivora are to set 
bounds to the voracity of the herbivora. Finally 
man, by his pursuit of these and his diminution 
of their numbers, presen'es a certain equilibrium 
between the producing and the destructive powers 
of nature. And so man, although in a certain 
reference he might be esteemed a purpose, yet in 
another has only the rank of a means. 

If an objective purposivcness in the variety of 
the genera of creatures and their external relations 
to one another, as purposively constructed beings, 
be made a principle, then it is conformable to Reason 
to conceive in these relations a certain organisation 
and a system of all natural kingdoms according 
to final causes. Only here experience seems flatly 
to contradict the maxims of Reason, especially as 
concerns an ultimate purpose of nature, which is 
indispensable for the possibility of such a system 
and which we can put nowhere else but in man. 
For regarding him as one of the many animal 
genera, nature has not in the least excepted him 
from its destructive or its productive powers, but 
has subjected everything to a mechanism of its own 
without any purpose. 

The first thing that must be designedly pre- 
pared in an arningeinent for a purposive complex 
of natural beings on the earth would be their place 




of habitation, the soil and the element on and in 
which they are to thrive. But a more exact know- 
ledge of the constitution of this basis of all organic 
production indicates no other causes than those 
working quite undesignedly, causes which rather 
destroy than favour production, order, and purposes. 
Land and sea not only contain in themselves 
memorials of ancient mighty desolations which have 
confounded them and all creatures that are in them ; 
but their whole structure, the strata of the one 
and the boundaries of the other have quite the: 
appearance of being the product of the wild and 
violent forces of a nature working in a state of chaos. 
Although the figure, the structure, and the slope of 
the land might seem to be purposively ordered 
for the reception of water from the air, for the 
welling up of streams between strata of diftcrent 
kinds (for many kinds of products), and for the 
course of rivers — yet a closer investigation shows 
that they are merely the effects of volcanic eruptions 
or of inundations of the ocean, as regards not only 
the first production of this figure, but, above all, its 
subsequent transformation, as well as the disappear- 
ance of its first organic productions.* Now if the 
place of habitation of all these creatures, the soil 
(of the land) or the bosom (of the sea), indicates 

' If the once adopted name XaUtrttl history is lo continue for the 
description of nature, we may in conira3l with art, give the title of 
ArciuTohi^ of tsatttre to llial whiirli the former liicnilly indicates, vit 
a representation of the ohl condition of the earth, about which, 
;iUhouj^h w-e cinnot hope for certainly, viC have good ground for 
conjecture. As sculpiured stones, etc, belong lo the province of art, 
so petrcfactions belong to llie archx-oIoK)' of nature. And since work 
is aclually being done ia this [science] (under the name of the Theory 
of (he Earth), constantly, although of course slowly, this namt is 
not jjiven to a merely imapinary investigation of nature, bui to one to 
which nature itself leads and invites us. 




nothing but a quite undesigned mechanism of its 
production, how and with what right can we demand 
and maintain a different origin for these latter 
products ? The closest examination, indeed (in 
Crtw//i'rV judgment), of the remains of the aforesaid 
devastations of nature seems to show that man was 
not comprehended in these revolutions ; but yet he 
is so dependent on the remaining creatures that, if 
a universally directing mechanism of nature be 
admitted in the case of the others, he must also 
be regarded as comprehended under it ; even though 
his Understanding (for the most part at least) has 
been able to deliver him from these devastations. 

But this argument seems to prove more than 
!was intended by it. It seems to prove not merely 
that man cannot be the ultimate purpose of nature, 
and that on the same grounds the aggregate of 
the organised things of nature on the earth cannot 
be a system of purposes ; but also that the natural 
products formerly held to be natural purposes have 
no other origin than the mechanism of nature. 

But in the solution given above of the Antinomy 
of the principles of the mechanical and teleological 
methods of production of organic beings of nature, 
we have seen that they are merely principles of 
the reflective Judgment in respect of nature as it 
produces forms in accordance with particular laws 
(for the systematic connection of which we have 
no key). They do not determine the origin of 
these beings in ihcniselves ; but only say that we, 
by the constitution of our Understanding and our 
Rea-son, cannot conceive it in this kind of being ex- 
cept according to final causes. The greatest possible 
effort, even intrepidity, in the attempt to explain 
them mechanically is not only permitted, but we 



PAST rt 

are invited to it by Reason ; notwithstanding that 
we know from the subjective grounds of the particular 
species and limilaticns of our Understanding (not 
e.g. because the mechanism of production would 
contradict in itself an origin according to purposes) 
that we can never attain thereto. Finally, the 
compatibility of both ways of representing the 
possibihty of nature may lie in the supersensible 
principle of nature (external to us, as well as in 
us) ; whilst the method of representation according 
to final causes may be only a subjective condition 
of the use of our Reason, when it not merely wishes 
to form a judgment upon objects as phenomena, 
but desires to refer these phenomena together with 
their principles to their supersensible substrate, in 
order to find certain laws of their unity possible, 
which it cannot represent to itself except through 
purposes (of which the Reason also has such as 
are supersensible). 

§ 83. Of the uiiimate purpose of nature as a 
teleologixal system 

We have shown in the preceding that, thougl 
not for the determinant but for the reflective 
Judgment, we have sufficient cause for judging 
man to be, not merely like all organised beings 
a natural purpose, but also the ultimate purpose of 
nature here on earth ; in reference to whom all 
other natural thini^'s constitute a system of purposes 
according to fundamental propositions of Reason. 
If now that must be found in man himself, which 
is to be furthered as a purpose by means of his 
connection with nature, this purpose must either 
be of a kind that can be satisfied by nature in 





its beneficence : or it is the aptitude and skill for 
ail kinds of purposes for wlilch nature (external 
and internal) can be used by him. The first 
purpose of nature would be man's happiness^ the 
seconti his culiure. 

The concept of happiness is not one that 
man derives by abstraction from his instincts and 
so deduces from his animal nature ; but it is a 
mere Idea of a slate, that he wishes to make 
adequate to the Idea under merely empirical 
conditions (which is impossible). This Idea he 
projects in such different ways on account of the 
complication of his Understanding with Imagination 
and Sense, and changes so often, that nature, even 
if it were entirely subjected to his elective will, 
could receive absolutely no determinate, universal 
and fixed law, so as to harmonise with this vacillat- 
ing concept and thus with the purpose which eacli 
man arbitrarily sets before himself. And even if 
we reduce this to the true natural wants as to 
which our race is thoroughly agreed, or on the 
other hand, raise ever so high man's skill to 
accomplish his imagined purposes ; yet, even thus, 
what man understands by happiness, and what is 
in fact his proper, ultimate, natural purpose (not 
purpose of freedom), would never be attained by 
him. For it is not bis nature to rest and be 
contented with the possession and enjoyment of 
anything whatever. On the other side, too, there 
is something wanting. Nature has not uiken him 
for her special darling and favoured him with 
benefit above all animals. Rather, in her destructive 
operations, — plague, hunger, perils of waters, frost, 
assaults of other animals great and small, etc., — in 
these things has she spared him as little as any 

2 A 




other animal. Further, the inconsistency of his 
own naturai dispositions drives him into self-devised 
torments, and also reduces others of his own race 
to misery, by the oppression of lordship, the barbarism 
of war, and so forth ; he, himself, as far as in him 
lies, works for the destruction of his own race ; so 
that even with the most beneficent external nature, 
its purpose, if it were directed to the happiness 
of our species, would not be attained in an earthly 
system, because our nature is not susceptible of it. 
Man is then always only a link in the chain of 
natural purposes ; a principle certainly in respect 
of many purposes, for which nature seems to have 
destined him in her disposition, and to which he 
sets himself, but also a means for the maintenance 
of purposiveness in the mechanism of the remaining 
links. As the only being on earth which has an 
Understanding and, consequently, a faculty of setting 
arbitrary purposes before itself, he is certainly en- 
titled to be the lord of nature ; and if it be regarded 
as a teleological system he is, by his destination, the 
ultimate purpose of nature. But this is subject to 
the condition of his having an Understanding and 
the Will to give to it and to himself such a reference 
to purposes, as can be self-sufficient independently 
of nature, and, consequently, can be a final purpose ; 
which, however, must not be sought in nature itself. 
But in order to find out where in man we have 
to place that ziUimaie purpose of nature, we must 
seek out what nature can supply to prepare him 
for what he must do himself in order to be a final 
purpose, and we must separate it from all those 
purposes whose possibility depends upon things 
that one can expect only from nature. Of the 
latter kind is earthly happiness, by which is under- 




Stood the complex of all man's purposes possible 
through nature, whether external nature or man's 
nature ; i.€, the matter of all his earthly purposes, 
which, if he makes it his whole purpose, renders 
him incapable of positing his own existence as a 
final purpose, and being in harmony therewith. 
There remains therefore of all his purposes in 
nature only the formal subjective condition : viz. 
the aptitude of setting purposes in general before 
himself, and (independent of nature in his purposive 
determination) of using nature, conformably to the 
maxims of his free purposes in general, as a means. 
This nature can do in regard to the final purpose 
that lies outside it, and it therefore may be regarded 
as its ultimate purpose. The production of the 
aptitude of a rational being for arbitrary purposes 
in general (consequently in his freedom) is ailture. 
Therefore, culture alone can be the ultimate purpose 
which we have cause for ascribing to nature in 
respect to the human race (not man's earthly hap- 
piness or the fact that he is the chief instrument 
of instituting order and harmony in irrational nature 
external to himself). 

But all culture is not adequate to this ultimate 
purpose of nature. The culture of skill is indeed the 
chief subjective condition of aptitude for furthering 
one's purposes in general ; but it is not adequate to 
furthering the iviil^ in the determination and choice 
of purposes, which yet essentially belongs to the 
whole extent of an aptitude for puqjoses. The 
latter condition of aptitude, which we might call the 
culture of training (discipline), is negative, and 
consists in the freeing of the will from the despotism 
of desires. By these, tied as we are to certain 
' [Firsi Edition \as fr{£dom.'\ 




natural things, we are rendered incapable even of 
choosing, while we allow those impulses to serve as 
fetters, which Nature has given us as guiding^ 
threads that we should not neglect or injure the 
destination of our animal nature — we being all the 
time free enough to strain or relax, to extend 
or diminish them, according as the purposes of 
Reason reciuirc. 

Skill cannot be developed in the human race 
except by means of inequality among men ; for the 
great majority provide the necessities of life, as it 
were, mechanically, . without requiring any art in 
particular, for the convenience and leisure of others 
who work at the less necessary elements of culture, 
science and art. In an oppressed condition they 
have hard work and little enjoyment, although 
much of the culture of the higher classes gradually 
spreads to them. Yet with the progress of this 
culture (the height of which is called luxury, reached 
when the propensity to what can be done without 
begins to be injurious to what is indispensable), 
their calamities increase equally in two directions, 
on the one hand through violence from without, on 
the other hand through internal discontent ; but 
still this splendid misery is bound up with the 
development of the natural capacities of the human 
race, and the purpose of nature itself, although not 
our purpose, is thus attained. The formal condition 
under which nature can alone attain this its final 
design, is that arrangement of men's relations to one 
another, by which lawful authority in a whole, which 
we call a civil community, is opposed to the abuse 
of their conflicting freedoms ; only in this can the 
greatest development of natural capacities take 
place. For this also there would be requisite, — if 







men were clever enough to find it out and wise 
enough to submit themselves voluntarily to its 
constraint, — a iosmopoiitan whole, i.e. a system of 
all states that are in danger of acting injuriously 
upon each other.' Failing this, and with the 
obstacles which ambition, lust of dominion, and 
avarice, especially in those who have the authority 
in their hands, oppose even to the possibility of 
such a scheme, there is, inevitably, viHir (by 
which sometimes states subdivide and resolve 
themselves into smaller states, sometimes a state 
annexes other smaller states and strives to form a 
greater whole). Though war is an undesigned 
enterprise of men (stirred up by their unbridled 
passions), yet is it [perhaps] ^ a deep-hidden and 
designed enterprise of supreme Wisdom for 
preparing, if not for establishing, conformity to law 
amid the freedom of states, and with this a unity of 
a morally grounded system of those states. In 
spite of the dreadful afflictions with which it visits 
the hunnan race, and the perhaps greater afflictions 
with which the constant preparation for it in time 
of peace oppresses them, yet is it (although the 
hope for a restful state of popular happiness is ever 
further off) a motive for developing all talents ser- 
viceable for culture, to the highest possible pilch. ^ 

As concerns the discipline of the inclinations, — 
for which our natural cajwcity in regard of our 

) [These views are set forth by Kant more fully in the essay 
Zutn ctvigen FriaUn (1795).] 

' [Second Edition.] 

* [Cf. Thi PkihsophUal Theory of Religion^ Pari i., On the bati 
prhtcipie in Human A'a/uiv, III., where Kant remarks that althout,'h 
war " is not so incurably bad as the deadness of a uuiversaJ tnon- 
archy . . . yet, as an ancient observed, it makes more bad men than 
it taices away."] 




destination as an animal race is quite purposive, but 
which render the development of humanity very 
difficult, — there is manifest in respect of this second 
requirement for culture a purposive striving of 
nature to a cultivation which makes us receptive of 
higher purposes than nature itself can supply. We 
cannot strive against the preponderance of evil, 
whicji is poured out upon us by the refinement of 
taste pushed to idealisation, and even by the luxury 
of science as affording food for pride, through the 
insatiable number of inclinations thus aroused. But 
yet we cannot mistake the purpose of nature— ever 
aiming to win us away from the rudeness and vio- 
lence of those inclinations (inclinations to enjoyment) 
which belong rather to our animality, and for the 
most part are opposed to the cultivation of our higher 
destiny, and to make way for the development of 
our humanity. l"he beautiful arts and the sciences 
which, by their universally-communicable pleasure, 
and by the polish and refinement of society, make 
man more civilised, if not morally better, win us in 
large measure from the t)Tanny of sense-propensions, 
and thus prepare men for a lordship, in which 
Reason alone shall have authority ; whilst the evils 
with which we are visited, partly by nature, partly 
by the intolerant selfishness of men, summon, 
strengthen, and harden ihe powers of the sou! not 
to submit to them, and so make us feel an 
aptitude for higher purposes, which lies hidden 
in us.^ 

^ The value of life for us, if it is estimated by that •which we 
enjoy (by the natural purpose of tlie sun of all inclinations, i.e. 
Iiiippinesi), is easy to decide. It sinks below lero ; for who would 
be willing to enter upon life anew under the same conditions ? who 
would do so even accordinj^ to a new, self-chosen plan ()xl in confonnity 
with tlie course of nature), if it were merely directed to enjoyment ? 




§ 84. Of ihc final purpose of the existeme of a 
worldy i.e. of creation itself 

A final purpose is that purpose which needs no 
other as condition of its possibility. 

If the mere mechanism of nature be assumed as 
the ground of explanation of its purposiveness, we 
cannot ask : what are things ' there for ? For 
according to such an idealistic system it is only the 
physical possibility of things (to think which as 
purposes would be mere subtlety without any Object) 
that is under discussion ; whether we refer this form 
of things to chance or to blind necessity, in either 
case the question would be vain. If. however, we 
assume the purposive combination in the world to 
be real and to be [brought about] by a particular kind 
of causality, viz. that of a designedly working cause, 
we cannot stop at the question : why have things 
of the world (organised beings) this or that form ? 
why are they placed by nature in this or that rela- 
tion to one another? But once an Understanding 
is thought that must be regarded as the cause of 
the possibility of such forms as they are actually 
found in tilings, it must be also asked on objective 
grounds : Who could have determined this pro- 
ductive Understanding to an operation of this kind ? 

We have shown above what value life has in virtue of whai it 
contains in itself, when lived in accordance with the purpose that 
naiure has along with us, and which consists in what we do (not 
niLTcly what we enjoy), in which, however, we arc always but means 
towards an undctcmiined fma] purpose. There remains then 
nothing but the value which we ourselves give our life, through what 
we can not only do, but do purposivcly in such independence of 
nature that the existence of nature itself can only be a purpose 
under this condition. 

^ [First Edition has tiunp in tht vfor/J.] 




This being is then the final purpose in reference to 
which such things are there. 

I have said above that the final purpose is not a 
purpose which nature would be competent to bring 
about and to produce in conformity with its Idea, 
because it is unconditioned. For there is nothing 
in nature (regarded as a sensible being) for which 
the determining ground present in itself would not 
be always conditioned ; and this holds not merely of 
externa] (malcriHl) nature, but also of internal 
(thinking) nature — it being of course understood 
that I only am considering that in myself which is 
nature. But a thing that is to exist necessarily, on 
account of its objective constitution, as the final 
purpose of an intelligent cause, must be of the kind 
that in the order of purposes it is dependent on no 
further condition than merely its Idea. 

Now we have in the world only one kind of 
beings whose causality is teleological, i.e. is directed 
to purposes and is at the same time so constituted 
that the law according to which they have to de- 
termine purposes for themselves is represented as 
unconditioned and independent of natural conditions, 
and yet as in itself necessary. The being of this 
kind is man. but man considered as noumenon ; the 
only natural being in which we can recognise, on the 
side of its peculiar constitution, a supersensible 
faculty {freedom) and also the law of causality, 
together with the Object, which this faculty may 
propose to itself as highest purpose (the highest 
good in the world). 

Now of man (and so of every rational creature 
in the world) as a moral being it can no longer 
be asked: why (</nem in Jinem) he exists? His 
existence involves the highest purpose to which, 

as far as is in his power, he can subject the 
whole of naturt: ; contrary to which at least he 
cannot regard himself as subject to any influence 
of nature. — If now things of the worki, as beings 
dependent in their existence, need a supreme cause 
acting according to purposes, man is the iin^I pur- 
pose of creation ; since without him the chain of 
mutually subordinated purposes would not be com- 
plete as regards its ground. Only in man, and 
only in him as subject of morality, do we meet 
with unconditioned legislation in respect of purposes, 
which therefore alone renders him capable of being 
a final purpose, to which the whole of nature is 
teleologically subordinated.' 

> h wDiikl be possible that the brippincss of rational beings in 
the world bliould be a purpose of nature, and then also Uiis would be 
its ultim'ttr purpose. At least we cannot see a priori why nature 
should not be so ordered, because by means of its mechanism this 
effect would be certainly possible, at least so far as we sec. But 
morality, with a causality according to purposes subordinated thereto, 
is .ibsolutcly impossible hy mcins of natural causes ; for the principle 
by which it dcienninea to action is supersensible, and is therefore 
ilic only possible principle in the order of purposes that in respect of 
nature is absolutely unconditioned. Its subject consequently alone 
is qualified to be iht /nai piir/xtsf of creation to which the whole of 
nature is subordinated. — Happiness^ on the contmr^-, as has been 
shown in the preceding paragraphs by the testimony of experience, 
is not even a purpose of nnture in respect of man in preference to 
other creatures ; much less a final pmpose of creaiion^ Men may 
of course make it tlieir ultimate subjective purpose. But if I ask, 
in reference to the final purpose of creation, why must men exist ? 
then we are speaking of an objective supren»e purpose, such as the 
highest Reason would require for creation. If we answer: These 
beings exist to afford objects for the benevolence of that Supreme 
Cause ; then wc contradict the condition to which the Reason of man 
subjects even his intno&t wish for happiness (viz. the harmony with 
his own internal moral legislation). This proves that happiness can 
only he a conditioned purpose, and that it is only as a moral being 
that man can be the final purpose of creation ; but that as concerns 
his state happiness is only connected with it as a consequence, 
according to the measui-e of his harmony with (hat purpose regarded 
as the purpose of his being. 




§ 85. Of PhysicO'tJieology 

Pkysico-tkeology is the endeavour of Reason to 
infer the Supreme Cause of nature and its properties 
from the purposes of nature (which can only be 
empirically known). Moral theology (^\\\\z.o-^kx^K^o^) 
would be the endeavour to infer that Cause and its 
properties from the moral purpose of rational beings 
in nature (which can be known a priori). 

The former naturally precedes the latter. For if 
we wish to infer a World Cause teleologically from 
the things in the world. pur|M>ses of nature must 
first be given, lor which we afterwards have to seek 
a final purpose, and for this the principle of the 
causality of this Supreme Cause. 

Many investigations of nature can and must be 
conducted according to the teleological principle, 
without our having cause to Inquire into the ground 
of the possibility of purposive working which we 
meet with in various products of nature. Rut if we 
wish to have a concept of this we have absolutely 
no further insight into it than the maxim of the 
reflective Judgment affords: viz. if only a single 
organic product of nature were given to us. by the 
constitution of our cognitive faculty we could think 
no other ground for it than that of a cause of nature 
itself (whether the whole of nature or only this part) 
which contains the causality for it through Under- 
standing. This principle of judging, though it does 
not bring us any further in the explanation of 
natural things and their origin, yet discloses to us an 
outlook over nature, by which perhaps we may be 
able to determine more closely the otherwise so 
unfruitful concept of an Original Being. 

ArrRNDix 1 85 



Now I say that Physico-theolog)', however far it 
may be pursued, can disclose to us nothing of a final 
purpose of creation ; for it does not even extend to 
the question as to this. It can, it is true, justify the 
concept of an intelligent World Cause, as a subject- 
ive concept (only available for the constitution of 
our cognitive faculty) of the possibility of things 
that we can make intelligible to ourselves accord- 
ing to purposes ; but it cannot determine this concept 
further, cither in a theoretical or a practical point of 
view. Its endeavour docs not come up to its design 
of being the basis of a Theology, but it always 
remains only a physical Teleology ; because the 
purposive reference therein is and must be always 
considered only as conditioned in nature, and it 
consequently cannot inquire into the purpose for 
which nature itself exists (for which the ground must 
be sought outside nature), — notwithstanding that it 
is upon the determinate Idea of this that the deter- 
minate concept of that Supreme Intelligent World 
Cause, and the consequent possibility of a Theology, 

What the things in the world are mutually 
useful for; what good the manifold in a thing does 
for the thing ; how we have ground to assume that 
nothing in the world is in vain, but that ever)^thing 
in nature is good for something, — the condition being 
granted that certain things are to exist (as purposes), 
whence our Reason has in its power for the Judg- 
ment no other principle of the possibility of the 
Object, which it inevitably judges teleologically, 
than that of subordinating the mechanism of nature 
to the Architectonic of an intelligent Author of the 
world — all this the teleological consideration of the 
world supplies us \vith excellently and to our extreme 


admiration. Rut because the data, and so I he 
principles, ioT d^Urmining xhax concept of an intelli- 
gent World Cause (as highest Artist) are merely 
empirical, they do not enable us to infer any 
of its properties beyond those which experience 
reveals in its effects. Now experience, since it 
can never embrace collective nature as a system, 
must often (apparently) happen upon this concept 
(and by mutually conflicting grounds of proof) ; but 
it can never, even if we had the power of surveying 
empirically the whole system as far as it concerns 
mere nature, raise us above nature to the puqiose of 
its existence, and so to the determinate concept of 
that supreme Intelligence. 

If we lessen the problem with the solution of 
which Physico -theology has to do, its solution appears 
easy. If we reduce the concept of a Dei/y to that 
of an intelligent being thought by us, of which there 
may be one or more, which possesses many and very 
great properties, but not all the properties which are 
requisite for the foundation of a nature in harmony 
with the greatest possible purpose ; or if we do not 
scruple in a theory tu su[>ply by arbitrary additions 
what is deficient in the grounds of proof, and so, 
where we have only ground for assuming much 
perfection (and what is "much" for us?), consider 
ourselves entitled to presuppose aH possible perfec- 
tion ; thus indeed physical Teleology may make 
weighty claims to the distinction of being the basis 
of a Theology. But if we are desired to point out 
what impels and moreover authorises us to add these 
supijlements, then we shall seek in vain for a ground 
of justification in the principles of the theoretical 
use of Reason, which is ever desirous in the ex- 
planation of an Object of experience to ascribe to 

APfCNDIX t 85 



It no more properties than those for which empirical 
data of possibility are to be found. On closer exami- 
nation we should see that properly speaking an Idea 
of a Supreme Being, which rests on a quite different 
use of Reason (the practical use), lies in us funda- 
niKHtaliy a priori, impelling us to supplement the 
defective representation, supplied by a physical 
Teleology, of the original ground of the purposes 
in nature by the concept of a Deity ; and we should 
not falsely imagine that we had worked out this 
Idea, and with it a Theology by means of the 
theoretical use of Reason in the physical cognition 
of the world — much less that we had proved its 

Onccannol blame the ancients much, tf they thought 
of their gods as differing much from each other 
both as regards their faculties and as regards their 
designs and volitions, but yet thought of all of them, 
the Supreme One not excepted, as always Hmited 
after human fashion. For if they considered the 
arrangement and the course of things in nature, they 
certainly found ground enough for assuming some- 
thing more than mechanism as its cause, and for 
conjecturing behind the machinery of this world 
designs of certain higher causes, which they could 
not think otherwise than superhuman. But because 
they met with good and evil, the purposive and 
the unpurposive, mingled together (at least as far 
as our insight goes), and could not permit them- 
selves to assume nevertheless that wise and benevo- 
lent purposes of which they saw no proof lay hidden 
at bottom, on behalf of the arbitrary Idea of a 
supremely perfect original Author, their judgment 
upon the supreme World Cause could hardly have 
been other than it was, so long as they proceeded 

consistently according to maxims of the mere 
theoretical use of Reason. Others, who wished 
to be theologians as well as physicists, thoug^ht tofl 
find contentment for the Reason by providing for 
the absolute unity of the principle of natural things 
which Reason demands, the Idea of a I3eing of 
which as sole Substance the things would befl 
all only inherent determinations. This Substance 
would not be Cause of the World by means of 
intelligence, but in it all the intelligences of the 
beings in the world would be comprised. Tliis 
Being consequently would produce nothing accord-^ 
ing to purposes ; but in it all things, on account™ 
of the unity of the subject of which they are mere 
determinations, must necessarily relate themselves 
purposively to one another, though without purpose 
and design. Thus they introduced the Idealism ofg 
final causes, by changing the unity (so difticult lof 
explain) of a number of purposively combinedj 
substances, from being the unitj' of causal depend- 
ence on one Substance to be the unity of inherence' 
in one. This system^which in the sequel, con- 
sidered on the side of the inherent world beings, 
becomes Pantheism, and (later) on the side of the 
Subject subsisting by itself as Original Being, 
becomes Spinozism, — does not so much resolve as 
explain away into nothing the question of the first 
ground of the purposiveness of nature ; because this 
latter concept, bereft of all reality, must be taken 
for a mere misinterpretation of a universal onto- 
logical concept of a thing in general. ■ 

Hence the concept of a Deity, which would 
be adequate for our teleological judging of nature 
can never be derived according to mere theoretical 
principles of the use of Reason (on which Physico- 





theology alone is based). For as one alternative 
we may explain all Teleology as a mere deception 
of the Judgment In its judging of the causal com- 
bination of things, and Hy to the sole principle of a 
mere mechanism of nature, which merely seems to 
us, on account of the unity of the Substance of 
whose determinations nature is but the manifold, 
to contain a universal reference to purposes. Or 
if, instead of this Idealism of final causes, we 
wish to remain attached to the principle of the 
Realism of this particular kind of causality, we 
may set beneath natural purposes many intelligent 
original beings or only a single one. But so far 
as we have for the basis of this concept [of Realism] 
only empirical principles derived from the actual 
purposive combination in the world, we cannot on 
the one hand find any remedy for the discordance 
that nature presents in many examples in respect 
of unity of purpose ; and on the other hand, as to 
the concept of a single intelligent Cause, so far as 
we are authorised by meru experience, we can 
never draw it therefrom in a manner sufficiently 
determined for any serviceable Theology whatever 
(whether theoretical or practical). 

Physical Teleolog}' impels us, it is true, to seek 
a Theology ; but it cannot produce one, however 
far we may investigate nature by means of experi- 
ence and, in reference to the purposive combination 
apparent in it, call in Ideas of Reason (which must 
be theoretical for physical problems). What is the 
use, one might well complain, of placing at the basis 
of all these arrangements a great Understanding 
incommensurable by us, and supposing it to govern 
the world according to design, if nature docs not and 
cannot tell us anything of the final design ? For 



without this we cannot refer all these natural pu& 
poses to any common point, nor can we form a^| 
teleological principle, sufficient either for cognising 
the purposes collected in a system, or for forming 
a concept of the Supreme Understanding, as Cause 
of such a nature, that could sen'e as a standard 
for our Judgment reflecting teleologically thereon, 
I should thus have an artisiU Under standing for 
scattered purposes, but no Wisdom for a final pur- 
pose, in which final purpose nevertheless must be 
contained the determining ground of the said Under- 
standing. But in tht* absence of a final purpose 
which pure Reason alone can supply (because all 
purposes in the world are empirically conditioned, 
and can contain nothing absolutely good but only 
what is good for this or that regarded as a contin- 
gent design), and which alone would teach me 
what properties, what degree, and what relation o( 
the Supreme Cause to nature I have to think ir 
order to judge of nature as a teleological system 
how and with what right do I dare to extend al 
pleasure my very limited concept of that origina 
Understanding (which I can base on my limitec 
knowledge of the world), of the Might of thai 
original Being in actualising its Ideas, and of iti 
Will to do so, and complete this into the Idea o 
an AMwise, Infinite Being? If this is to be done 
theoretically, it would presuppose omniscience ir 
me, in order to see into the purposes of nature ir 
their whole connection, and in addition the powei 
of conceiving all possible plans, in comparison witt 
which the present plan would be with justice re 
garded as the best. For without this completi 
knowledge of the effect I can arrive at no deter 
minate concept of the Supreme Cause, which cai 






found in t 
inhnite in every respect, i.e. the concept ol a Ueity, 
and so I can supply no foundation for Theology. 

Hence, with every possible extension of physical 
Teleology, according to the propositions above laid 
down we may say : By the constitution and the 
principles of our cognitive faculty we can think of 
nature, in its purposive arrangements which have 
become known to us, in no other way than as the 
product of an Understanding to which it is subject. 
But the theoretical investigation of nature can never 
reveal to us whether this Understanding may not 
also, with the whole of nature and its production, 
have had a final design (which would not lie in the 
nature of the sensible world). On the contrary, 
with all our knowledge of nature it remains unde- 
cided whether that Supreme Cause is its original 
ground according to a fmaJ purpose or not rather 
by means of an Understanding determined by the 
mere necessity of its nature to produce certain forms 
(according to the analogy of what we call the Art- 
instinct in animals) ; without it being necessary to 
ascribe to it even wisdom, much less the highest 
wisdom combined with all other properties requisite 
for the perfection of its pro<luct. 

Hence Physico-theology is a misunderstood 
physical Teleology, only serviceable as a prepara- 
tion (propsedeutic) for Theology ; and it is only 
adequate to this design by the aid of a foreign 
principle on which it can rely, and not in itself. 
as its name seems to indicate. 

2 D 



PART Tf ^ 

§86. OJ Ethko-theohgy 

The commonest Understanding, if it thinks < 
the presence of things in the world, and the existence 
of the world llscif, cannot forbear from the judgment 
that all the various creatures, no matter how great 
the art displayed in their arrangement, and how 
various their purposive mutual connection,— even 
the complex of their numerous systems (which wc 
incorrectly call worlds), — would be for nothing, if 
there were not also men (rational beings in general). 
Without men the whole creation would be a mere 
waste, in vain, and without final purpose. But 
it is not in reference to man's cognitive faculty 
(theoretical Reason) that the being of everything 
else in the world gets its worth ; he is not there 
merely that there may be some one to conUmpfaie 
the world. For if the contemplation of the world 
only afforded a representation of things without 
any final purpose, no worth could accrue to its 
being from the mere fact that it is known ; we 
must presuppose for it a final purpose, in reference 
to which its contemplation itself has worth. Again 
it is not in reference to the feeling of pleasure, or 
to the sum of pleasures, that we think a final purpose 
of creation as given ; i.e. we do not estimate that 
absolute worth by well-being or by enjoyment 
(whether bodily or mental), or in a word, by happi- 
ness. For the fact that man, if he exists, takes 
this for his final design, gives us no concept as to 
why in general he should exist, and as to whac 
worth he has in himself to make his existence 
pleasant. He must, therefore, be supposed to be 
the final purpose of creation, in order to have a 


AtTRNblX I 86 



rational ground for holding that nature must 
harmonise with his happiness, if it is considered 
as an absolute whole according to principles of 
purposes. — Hence [that which we seek] is only 
the faculty of desire ; not, however, that which 
makes man dependent (through sensuous impulses) 
upon nature, nor that in respect of which the worth 
of his being depends upon what he receives and 
enjoys. But it is that worth which he alone can 
give to himself, and which consists in what he 
docs, how and according to what principles he 
acts, and that not as a link in nature's chain but 
in the freedom of his faculty of desire. That is, 
a good will is that whereby alone his being can 
have an absolute worth, and in reference to which 
the being of the world can have -a final ptn-pose. 

The commonest judgment of healthy human 
Reason completely accords with this, that it is 
only as a moral being that man can be a final 
purpose of creation ; if we but direct men's attention 
to the question and incite them to investigate it. 
What does it avail, one will say, that this man 
has so much talent, that he is so active therewith, 
and that he exerts thereby a useful influence over 
the community, thus having a great worth both 
in relation to his own happy condition and to the 
advantage of others, if he does not possess a good 
will ? He is a contemptible Object considered in 
respect of his inner self; and if the creation is 
not to be without any final purpose at all, he, who 
as man belongs to it, but as a bad man is in a 
world under moral laws, must conformably to these 
forfeit his subjective purpose (happiness), as the 
sole condition under which his existence can accord 
with the final purpose. 



PAKT tl 

If now we meet with purposive arrangements 
in the world and, as Reason inevitably requires, 
subordinate the purposes that are only conditioned 
to an unconditioned, supreme, i.e. final, purpose ; 
then we easily see in the first place that we are 
thus concerned not with a purpose of nature 
(internal to itself), so far as it exists, but with 
the purpose of its existence along with all its 
ordinances, and, consequently, with the ultimate 
purpose of creaiiony and specially with the supreme 
condition under which a final purpose (i.e. the 
determinining ground of a supreme Understanding 
for the production of beings of the world) can be 

Since now it is only as a moral being thai 
we recognise man as the purpose of creation^ we 
have in the first place a ground (at least, the 
chief condition) for regarding the world as a 
whole connected according to purposes, and as 
a sys/ern of final causes. And, more especially, as 
regards the reference (necessary for us by the 
constitution of our Reason) of natural purposes to 
an intelligent World Cause, we have one principle 
enabling us to think the nature and properties of 
this First Cause as supreme ground in the kingdom 
of purposes, and to determine its concept. This 
physical Teleology could not do ; it could only 
lead to indeterminate concepts of it, unserviceable 
alike in theoretical and in practical use. 

From this so definite principle of the causality 
of the Original Being we must not think Him 
merely as Intelligence and as legislative for nature, 
but also as legislating supremely in a moral kingdom 
of purposes. In reference to the highest good, 
alone possible under His sovereignty, viz. the 

AI-fRNDIX t 86 



existence of rational beings under moral laws, we 
shall think this Original Being 3lS ai/-knowifi^: thus 
our inmost dispositions (which constitute the proper 
moral worth of the actions of rational beings of the 
world) will not be hid from Him. We shall think 
Him as ail-mighty \ thus He will be able to make 
the whole of nature accord with this highest 
purpose. We shall think Him as ail-good, and at 
the same time ^sjnst: because these two properties 
(which when united constitute IVisdofn) are the 
conditions of the causality of a supreme Cause of 
the world, as liighcst good, under moral laws. So 
also all the other transcendental properties, such 
as Eiciiiity^ Oninipjxsence, etc. [for goodness and 
justice are moral properties'], which are presupposed 
in reference to such a final purpose, must be thought 
in Him. — In this way moral Teleology ^\\^\^nt^ the 
deficiency in physical Teleology, and first establishes 
a T/uoiogy ; because the latter, if it did not borrow 
from the former without being observed, but were 
to proceed consistently, could only found a Demon- 
oiogy, which is incapable of any definite concepi- 

But the principle of the reference of the world 
to a supreme Cause, as Deity, on account of the 
moral purposive determination of certain beings in 
it, does not accomplish this by completing the 
physico-teleological ground of proof and so taking 
this necessarily as its basis. It is sufficient in itself 
and directs attention to the purposes of nature and 
the investigation of that incomprehensible great art 
lying hidilcn behind its forms, in order to confirm 
incidentally by means of natural purposes the Ideas 
that pure practical Reason furnishes. For the 
concept of beings of the world under moral laws 
' [Second Ediiion.] 




is a principle {a pricri) according to which man must 
of necessity judge himself. Further, if there is 
in general a World Cause acting designedly and 
directed towards a purpose, this moral relation muse 
be just as necessarily the condition of the possibility 
of a creation, as that in accordance with physical 
laws (if, that is, that intelligent Cause has also a 
final purpose). This is regarded a priori by 
Reason as a necessary fundamental proposition for 
it in its teleological judging of the existence of 
things. It now only comes to this whether we 
have sufficient ground for Reason (either specula- 
tive or practical) to ascribe to the supreme Cause 
that acts in accordance with purposes a final pur- 
pose. For it may a priori be taken by us as 
certain that this, by the subjective constitution of 
our Reason and even of the Reason of other beings 
as far as we can think it, can be nothing else than 
man under moral laws : since otherwise the pur- 
poses of nature in the physical order could not be 
known a priori, especially as it can in no way be 
seen that nature could not exist without such pur- 


Suppose the case of a man at the moment when 
his mind is disposed to a moral sensation. If sur- 
rounded by a beautiful nature, he is in a state of 
restful, serene enjoyment of his being, he feels a 
want, viz. to be grateful for this to some being or 
other. Or if another time he finds himself in the 
same state of mind when pressed by duties that 
he can and will only competently perform by a 
voluntary sacrifice, he again feels in himself a want, 
viz. to have thus executed a command and obeyed 



a Supreme Lord. Or, again ; if lie has in some 
heedless way transgressed his duty, but without 
becoming answerable to men. his severe self- 
reproach will speak to him with the voice of a judge 
to whom he has to give account. In a word, he 
needs a moral Intclli^^ence, in order to have a Being 
for the purpose of his existence, which may be, 
conformably to this purpose, the cause of himself 
and of the world. It is vain to assign motives 
behind these feelings, for they are immediately 
connected with the purest moral sentiment, because 
graiiUide, obedience^ and knmiliation (submission to 
deserved chastisement) are mental dispositions that 
make for duty ; and the mind which is inclined 
towards a widening of its moral sentiment here only 
voluntarily conceives an object that is not in the 
world in order wliere possible to evince its duty 
before such an One. It is therefore at least possible 
and grounded too in our moral disposition to repre- 
sent a pure moral need of the existence of a Being, 
by which our morality gains strength or even (at 
least according to our representation) more scope, 
viz. a new object for its exercise. That is, [there is 
a need] to assume a morally-legislating Being out- 
side the world, wichout any reference to theoretical 
proofs, still less to self-interest, from pure moral 
grounds free from all foreign influence (and conse- 
quently only subjective), on the mere recommenda- 
tion of a pure practical Reason legislating by itself 
alone. And although such a mental disposition 
might seldom occur or might not last long, but be 
transient and without permanent efiect, or might 
even pass away without any meditation on the object 
represented in such shadowy outline, or without care 
to bring it under clear concepts — there is yet here 




unmistakably the ground why our moral capacity, 
as a subjective principle, should not be contented in 
its contemplation of the world with its purposiveness 
by means of natural causes, but should ascribe to 
it a supreme Cause governing nature according to 
moral principles. — In addition, we feel ourselves 
constrained by the moral law to strive for a uni- 
versal highest purpose whicli yet wc, in common 
with the rest of nature, are incapable of attaining ; 
and it is only so far as we strive for it that we can 
judge ourselves to be in harmony with the final 
purpose of an intelligent World Cause (if such there 
be). Jluis is found a pure moral ground of practical 
Reason for assuming this Cause (since it can be 
done without contradiction), in order that we may 
no more regard that effort of Reason as quite idle, 
and so run the risk of abandoning it from weariness. 
With all this, so much only is to be said, that 
though fear first produces gods (demons), it is 
Reason by means of its moral principles that can 
first produce the concept of God (even when, as 
commonly is the case, one is very ignorant in the 
Teleology of nature, or is very doubtful on account of 
the difficulty of adjusting by a sufficiently established 
principle its mutually contradictory phenomena). 
Also, the inner morai purposive destination of man's 
being supplies that in which natural knowledge is 
deficient, by directing us to think, for the final 
purpose of the being of all things (for which no 
other principle than an ethkal one is satisfactory to 
Reason), the supreme Cause [as endowed] with 
properties, whereby it is able to subject the whole 
of nature to that single design (for which nature is 
merely the instrument), — i.e. to think it as a Deity, 





§ 87. Of the moral proof of the Being of God 

There is a physical Teleology, which gives 
sufficient ground of proof to our theoretical re- 
flective Judgment to assume the being of an 
intelligent World-Cause. But we find also in our- 
selves and still more in the concept of a rational 
being in general endowed with freedom (of his 
causality) a moral Teleology. However, as the 
purposive reference, together with its law, is deter- 
mined a priori in ourselves and therefore can be 
cognised as necessary, this internal conformity to 
law requires no intelligent cause external to us ; 
any more than we need look to a highest Under- 
standing as the source of the purposiveness (for 
every possible exercise of art) that we find in the 
gconietrica! properties of figures. But this moral 
Teleology concerns us as beings of the world, and 
therefore as beings bound up with other things in 
the world ; upon which latter, whether as purposes 
or as objects in respect of which we ourselves are 
final purpose, the same moral laws require us to 
pass judgment. This moral Teleology, then, has 
to do with the reference of our own causality to 
purposes and even to a final purpose that wc must 
aim at in the world, as well as with the reciprocal 
reference of the world to that moral purpose, and 
the external possibility of its accomplishment (to 
which no physical Teleology can lead us). Hence 
the question necessarily arises, whether it compels 
our rational judgment to go beyond the world and 
seek an intelligent supreme principle for that refer- 
ence of nature to the moral in us ; in order to 
represent nature as purposive even in reference to 




our inner moral legislation and its possible accom- 
plishmcni. There is ihcrcfort; certainly a moral 
Teleology, which is connected on the one hand with 
the nomothetic of freedom and on the other with that 
of nature : just as necessarily as civil legislation is 
connected with the question where the executive 
authority is to be sought, and in general in every 
case [with the question] wherein Reason is to 
furnish a principle of the actuality of a certain 
regular order of things only possible according to 
Ideas. — We shall first set forth the prepress of 
Reason from that moral Teleology and its reference 
to physical, to Theology, and then make some 
observations upon the possibility and the validity 
of tliis way of reasoning. 

If we assume the being of certain things (or 
even only certain forms of things) to be contingent 
and so to be possible only through something else 
which is their cause, we may seek for the uncon- 
ditioned ground of this causality of the supreme 
(and so of the conditioned) either in the physical or 
the teleological order (either according to the nexus 
effcctivus or the nexus finalis). That is, we may 
either ask. what is the supreme productive cause of 
these things ; or what is their supreme (absolutely 
unconditioned) purpose, i.e. tlic final puqjose of that 
cause in its production of this or all its products 
generally ? In the second case it is plainly pre- 
supposed that this cause is capable of representing 
purposes to itself, and consequently is an intelligent 
Being; at least it must be thought as acting in 
accordance with the laws of such a being. 

If we follow the latter order, it is a Fukda- 
MENTAL Proposition, to which even the commonest 
human Reason is compelled to give immediate 




assent, that if there is to be in genera! ^ final pur- 
pose furnished a priori by Reason, this can be no 
other than vtan (every rational being of the world) 
under moral laws} For (and so every one judges) 
if the world consisted of rncrc lifeless, or even in 
part of living but irrational, beings, its existence 
would have no worth because in it there would be 
no being who would have the least concept of 
what worth is. Again, if there were intelligent 
beings, whose Reason were only able to place the 
worth of the existence of things in the relation of 

1 I say deliberately under moml lai>vs. It is nut man /// 
acconiance iinth moral laws, i.e. a being who behaves himself in 
confoniiily with them, who is ihc final purpose of creation. Kor by 
using the latter expression we should be asserting more than wc 
know ; vii. that it is in the power of an Author of the world to 
cause man alwa>'S to behave himself in accord.ince with moral 
taws. Hut this presupposes a concept of freedom and of nature (of 
which latter we can only think an extern.!! author), which would 
ii»ply an insight Into the supersensible substrate of nature and its 
identity ivith that which causality through freedom makes possible 
in the world. And this far surpasses the insight of nur Reason. 
Only of man undir moral lazvs can we say, without transgressing 
the limits of our insight ; his being constitutes the final puqiosc of 
the wnrld. This harmonises completely with the judgment of 
human Reason rejecting morally upon the course of the world. 
Wc bdieve that we perceive in the case of the wicked the traces of a 
wise purposive reference, if we only see that the w.inton criminal does 
not die before he has under^gone the dcsenxd punishment of bis 
misdeeds. According to our concepts of free causality, our good 
or bad bcliaviour depends on ourselves ; we regard it the highest 
wisdom in the government of the world to ordain for the first, 
opportunity, and for both, their consequence, in accordance with moral 
laws. In the latter properly consists the glory of God, which is 
hence not unsuitably described by theologians as the ultimate 
purpose of creation. — It Is further to be remarked that when wc 
u^e the word rreation, we understand nothing more than we have 
said here, vii. the cause of the (wing of the world or of the things 
in it (substances). This is what the concept properly belonging to 
this word involves {lutmiiio substanfite est crtatio) \ and con- 
sequently there is not implied in it the supposition of a freely 
working, and therefore intelligent, cause (whose being wc first 
of all desire to prove). 





nature to themselves (their well-being), but ni 
furnish of itself an original worth (in freedom), then 
there would certainly be (relative) purposes in the 
world, but no (absolute) final purpose, because th 
existence of such rational Ijeings would be alway 
purposeless. But the moral laws have this peculiar 
characteristic that they prescribe to Reason some- 
thing as a purpose without any condition, and 
consequently exactly as the concept of a final pur- 
pose requires. The existence of a Reason that caa 
be for itself the supreme law in the purposive refer- 
ence, in other words the existence of rational beings 
under moral laws, can therefore alone be thought 
the final puqjose of the being of a world. If on th 
contrary this be not so, there would be either no 
purpose at all in the cause of its being, or there 
would be purposes, but no final purpose. 

The moral law as the formal rational condition 
of the use of our freedom obliges us by itself alone, 
without depending on any purpose as material 
condition ; but it nevertheless determines for us. 
and indeed a priori, a final purpose towards which 
it obliges us to strive; and this purpose is the i 
highest good in the world possible through freedom. ^H 

The subjective condition under which man (and. 
according to all our concepts, every rational finite 
being) can set a final purpose before himself under 
the above law is happiness. Consequently, the 
highest physical good possible in the world, to be 
furthered as a final purpose as far as in us lies, is 
happiness, under the objective condition of the 
harmony of man with the law of moraiiiy as worthi- 
ness to be happy. 

But it is impossible for us in accordance with 
our rational faculties to represent these tw< 




requirements of the final purpose proposed to us by 
the moral law, as connected by merely natural 
causes, and yet as conformable to the Idea of that 
final purpose. Hence the concept of the practical 
necessity of such a purpose through the application 
of our powers does not harmonise with the 
theoretical concept of the physical possibility of its 
performance, if we connect with our freedom no 
other causality (as a nieans) than that of nature. 

Consequently, we must assume a moral World- 
Cause (an Author of the world), in order to set 
before ourselves a final purpose consistently with 
the moral law ; and in so far as the latter is 
necessary, so far (i.e. in the same degree and on the 
same ground) the former also must be necessarily 
assumed ; i.e. we must admit that there is a God.' 

This proof, to which we can easily give the form 
of logical precision, does not say : it is as necessary 
to assume the Being of God as to recognise the 
validity of the moral law ; and consequently he who 
cannot convince himself of the first, can judge 
himself frc-e from the obligations of the second. 
No ! there must in such case only be given up the 
aiming at the final purpose in the world, to be 
brought about by the pursuit of the second (viz. a 
happiness of rational beings in harmony with the 
pursuit of moral laws, regarded as the highest 

* [Nmc added in Second Edition.] 'Iliis moral argument does 
not supply any objecUvely-vatid proof of the Being of God ; it docs 
not prove to tlie sceptic that there is a God, but proves that if he 
wishes to thialc in a way consonant with morality, he must admit the 
assumptwn of this proposition under the maxims of his practical 
Reason. — We should therefore not say : it is necessary y^r morals 
[Sittlichkeit], to assume the happiness of all rational beings of the 
world in proportion to their morality [MoraIil3tJ; but rather, this Is 
necessitated by morality. Accordingly, this is a iubjectivc argument 
sufficient for moral beings. 




good). Ever)-* rational being would yet hai 
cognise himself as straitly bound by the prece| 
of morality, for its laws are formal and comma] 
unconditionally without respect to purposes (as tl 
matter of volition). But the one requisite of^ 
final purpose, as practical Reason prescril>es S 
beings of the world, is an irresistible purpd 
im|X)scd on them by their nature (as finite beingi 
which Reason wishes to know as subject only to tl 
moral law as inviolable coTtdition, or even 
universally set up in accordance with it. Th 
Reason takes for final purpose the furthering 
happiness in harmony with morality. To furth 
this so far as is in our power [i.e. in respec^ 
happiness) is commanded us by the moral law^ 
the issue of this endeavour what it may. T 
fulfilling of duty consists in the form of the eara| 
will, not in the intermediate causes of success. ^ 
Suppose then that partly through the weakn< 
of all the speculative arguments so highly extolU 
and i)anly through many irregularities in nature as 
the world of stnse which come before him, a mi 
is persuaded of the proposition, There is no Goi 
he would nevertheless be contemptible in his o'* 
eyes if on that account he were to imagine t' 
laws of duty as empty, invalid and inobligatoi 
and wished to resolve to transgress them bold] 
Such an one, even if he could be convinced in t 
sequel of that which he had doubted at the fir 
would always be contemptible while having such 
disposition, although he should fulfil his duty 
regards its [external] effect as punctiliously as cou 
be desired, for [he would be acting] from fear 
from the aim at recompense, without the sentitne 
of reverence for duty. If, conversely, as a believ 




[in God] he performs his duty according to his con- 
science, uprightly and disinterestedly, and neverthe- 
less believes that he is free from all moral obligation 
so soon as he is convinced that there is no God, this 
could accord but badly with an inner moral dispo- 

We may then suppose the case of a righteous 
man [e.g. Spinoza],^ who holds himself firmly 
persuaded that there is no God, and also (because 
in respect of the Object of morality a similar 
consequence results) no future life ; how is he to 
judge of his own inner purposive destination, by 
means of the moral law, which he reveres in 
practice ? He desires no advantage to himself 
from following it, either in this or another world ; 
he wishes, rather, disinterestedly to establish the 
good to which that holy law directs all his powers. 
But his effort is bounded ; and from nature, although 
he may expect here and there a contingent accord- 
ance, he can never expect a regular harmony 
agreeing according to constant rules (such as his 
maxims are and must be, internally), with the purpose 
that he yet feels himself obliged and impelled to 
accomplish. Deceit, violence, and envy will always 
surround him, although he himself be honest, 
peaceable, and kindly ; and the righteous men with 
whom he meets will, notwithstanding all their 
worthiness of happiness, be yet subjected by nature 
which regards not this, to all the evils of want, 
disease, and untimely death, just like the beasts of 
the earth. So it will be until one wide grave 
engulfs them together (honest or not, it makes no 
difference), and throws them hack — who were able 
to believe themselves the final purpose of creation 
* [Second Edition.] 



— into the abyss of the purposeless chaos of 
trom which they were drawn. — The purpose, tbi 
which this well-intentioned person had and ougfl 
have before him in his pursuit of moral laws, 
must certainly give up as impossible. Or eJse, ^ 
wishes to remain dependent upon the call ofl 
moral internal destination, and not to weaken t 
respect with which the moral law immediate 
inspires him, by assuming the nothingnctss of t 
single, Ideal, final purpose adequate to its hij 
demand (which cannot be brought about withe 
a violation of moral sentiment), he must, as 
well can — since there is at least no concradicti< 
from a practical point of view in forming a conce 
of the possibility of a morally prescribed final pi 
pose— assume the bein^ of a nwral author of t 
world, that is, a God. 

§ 88. Limiialion of the validity of the mora/ ^ 

Pure Reason, as a practical faculty, /.<*.' 
the faculty of determining the free use of o 
causality by Ideas (pure rational concepts), not on 
comprises in the morrd law a rt^lative principle 
our actions, but supplies us at the same time with 
subjective constitutive principle in the concept 
an Object which Reason alone can think, and whu 
is to be actuaJised by our actions in the wor 
according to that law. The Idea of a final purpo 
in the employment of freedom according to moi 
laws has therefore subjective /n?i-/nrtf/ reality. Vl 
are a priori determined by Reason to promo 
with all our powers the sunmrnm bonnm [Weltbest 
which consists in the combination of the greate 
welfare of rational beings with the highest conditic 




of the good in itself, i.e. in universal happiness 
conjoined with morality most accordant to law. 
In this final purpose the possibility of one part, 
happiness, is empirically conditioned, i.e. Jependent 
on the constitution of nature (which may or may 
not agree with this purjjose) and is in a theoretical 
aspect problematical ; whilst the other part, morality, 
in respect of which we are free from the effects of 
nature, stands fast a priori as to its possibility, and 
is dogmatically certain. It is then rec]uisite for the 
objective theoretical reality of the concept of the 
final purpose of rntional beings, that we should not 
only have a priori presupposed to ourselves a final 
purpose, but also that the creation, i.e. the world 
itself, should have as regards its existence a final 
purpose, which if it could be proved a pnori would 
add objectivity to the subjective reality of the final 
purpose [of rational beings]. For if the creation has 
on the whole a final purpose, we cannot think it 
otherwise than as harmonising with the moral pur- 
pose (which alone makes the concept of a purpose 
possible). Now we find without doubt purposes in 
the world, and physical Teleology exhibits them in 
such abundance, that if we judge in accordance with 
Reason, wc have ground for assuming as a principle 
in the investigation of nature that nothing in nature 
is without a purpose ; but the final purpose of nature 
we seek there in vain. This can and must therefore, 
as its Idea only lies in Reason, be sought as regards 
its objective possibility only in rational beings. And 
the practical Reason of these latter not only supplies 
this final purpose ; it also determines this concept in 
respect of the conditions under which alone a final 
purpose of creation can be thought by us. 

The question is now, whether the objective 
2 c 




reality of the concept of a final purpose of creation 
cannot be exhibited adequately to the theoretical 
requirements of pure Reason — if not apodictically 
for the determinant Judgment yet adequately for the 
maxims of thtr theoretical reflective Judg^ment ? 
This is the least one could expect from theoretical 
philosophy, which undertakes to combine the moral 
purpose with natural purposes by means of the Idea 
of one single purpose ; but yet this little is far more 
than it can accomplish. 

According to the principle of the theoretical re- 
flective Judgment wc should say : if we have ground 
for assuming for the purposive products of nature a 
supreme Cause of nature — whose causality in respect 
of the actuality of creation is of a different kind from 
that required for the mechanism of nature, i,e. must 
be thought as the causality of an Understanding — 
we have also sufficient ground for thinking in this 
original Being not merely the purposes everywhere 
in nature but also a final purpose. This is not 
indeed a final purpose by which we can explain the 
presence of such a Being, but one of which we 
may at least convince ourselves (as was the case in 
physical Teleology') that we can make the possibility 
of such a world conceivable, not merely according to 
purposes, but only through the fact that we ascribe 
to its existence a final purpose. 

But a final purpose is merely a concept of our 
practical Reason, and can be inferred from no data 
of experience for the theoretical judging of nature, 
nor can it be applied to the cognition of nature. No 
use of this concept is possible except its use for 
practical Reason according to moral laws ; and the 
final purpose of creation is that constitution of the 
world which harmonises with that which alone we 

can put forward definitely according to laws, viz. the 
final purpose of our pure practical Reason, in so far 
as it is to be practical. — Now we have in the nioral 
law which enjoins on us in a practical point of view 
the application of our powers to the accomplishment 
of this final purpose, a ground for assuming its 
possibility and practicability, and consequently too 
(because without the concurrence of nature with :i 
condition not in our power, its accomplishment 
would be impossible) a nature of things harmonious 
with it. Hence we have a moral ground for think- 
ing in a world also a final purpose of creation. 

We have not yet advanced from moral Teleolog}' 
to a Theology, i.e. to the being of a moral Author 
of th(^ world, but only to a final purpose of creation 
which is determined in this way. But in order to 
account for this creation, i.e. the existence of things, 
in accordance with ^ final purpose, we must assume 
not only first an intelligent Being (for the possibility 
of things of nature which we are compelled to judge 
oK ^& purposes), but also a moral Being, as author of 
the world, i.e. a God. This second conclusion is of 
such a character that we see it holds merely for 
the Judgment according to concepts of practical 
Reason, and as such for the reflective and not the 
determinant Judgment. It is true that in us morally 
practical Reason is essentially different in its prin- 
ciples from technically practical Reason. Rut we 
cannot assume that it must be so likewise in the 
supreme World-Cause, regarded as Intelligence, 
and that a peculiar mode of its causality is requisite 
for the final purpose, different from that which is 
requisite merely for purposes of nature. We cannot 
therefore assume that in our final purpose we have 
not merely a moral ground for admitting a final 



rABT t) 

purpose of creation (as an effecl), but also for admit- 
ting a Jtwr at Being ^s the original ground of creation. 
But we may well say, that, according to the constitu- 
tion of our rational faculty, we cannot comprehend 
the possibility of such a purposiveness in respect of 
the jnoral law, and its Object, as there is in this final 
purpose, apart from an Author and Governor of the 
world, who is at the same time its moral Lawgiver. 

The actuality of a highest morally-legislating 
Author is therefore sufficiently established merely 
for the practical use of our Reason, without deter- 
mining anything theoretically as regards its being. 
For Reason requires, in respect of the possibility of 
its purpose, which is given to us independently by 
its own legislation, an Idea through which the 
inability to follow up this purpose, according to the 
mere natural concepts of the world, is removed 
(sufficiently for the reflective Judgment). Thus this 
Idea gains practical reality, although all means of 
creating such for it in a theoretical point of view, for 
the explanation of nature and determination of the 
supreme Cause, are entirely wanting for speculative 
cognition. For the theoretical reflective Judgment 
physical Teleology sufficiently proves from the pur- 
poses of nature an intelligent World-Cause ; for the 
practical Judgment moral Teleology establishes it 
by the concept of a final purpose, which it is forced 
to ascribe to creation in a practical point of view. 
The objective reality of the Idea of God, as moral 
Author of the world, cannot, it is true, be established 
by physical purposes alone. But nevertheless, if the 
cognition of these purposes is combined with that 
of the moral purpose, they are, by virtue of the 
maxim of pure Reason which bids lis seek unity 
of principles so far as is possible, of great importance 




fnr the practical reality of that Idea, by bringing Jn 
tht: reality which it has for the Judgment in a theo- 
retical point of view. 

To prevent a misunderstanding which may easily 
arise, it is in the highest degree needful to remark 
that, in the first place, we can ikink these properties 
of the highest Being only according to analogy. 
Mow indeed could we investigate [directly] the 
nature of that, to which experience can show us 
nothing similar? Secondly, in this way we only 
think the supreme Being ; we cannot thereby cognise 
Him and ascribe anything theoretically to Him. It 
would be needful for the determinant Judgment in 
the speculative aspect of our Reason, to consider 
what the supreme World-Cause is in Himself. 
But here we are only concerned with the question 
what concept we can form of Him, according to the 
constitution of our cognitive faculties; and whether 
we have to assume His existence in order merely 
to furnish practical reality to a purpose, which pure 
Reason without any such presupposition enjoins 
upon us a prwri to bring about with all our powers, 
i.e. in order to be able to think as possible a designed 
effect. Although that concept may be transcendent 
for the speculative Reason, and the properties 
which we ascribe to the Being thereby thought may, 
objectively used, conceal an anthropomorphism in 
themselves; yet the design of its use is not to 
determine the nature of that Being which is unattain- 
able by us, but to determine ourselves and our 
will accordingly. We may call a cause after the 
concept which we have of its effect (though only in 
reference to this relation), without thereby meaning 
to determine internally its inner constitution, by 
means of the pro(5erties which can be made known 



nA«T 11 

to us solely by similar causes and must be given in 
experience. For example, amongst other properties 
we ascribe to the soul a vis hcmiotiva because 
bodily movements actually arise whose cause lies in 
the representation of them ; without therefore mean- 
ing to ascribe to it the only mode [of action] that we 
know in movitig forces (viz. by attraction, pressure, 
impulse, and consequently motion, which alw^ays 
presuppose an extended being). Just so we must 
assume something, which contains the ground of the 
possibility and practical reality, i.e. the practicability, 
of a necessary moral fmal purpose ; but we can think 
of this, in accordance with the character of the effect 
expected of it, as a wise Being governing the world 
according to moral laws, and, conformably to the 
constitution of our cognitive faculties, as a cause of 
things distinct from nature, only in order to express 
the rciatimi of this Being which transcends all our 
cognitive faculties to the Objects of our practical 
Reason. We do not pretend thus to ascribe to it 
theoretically the only causality of this kind known to 
us, viz. an Understanding and a Will : we do not 
even pretend to distinguish objectively the causality 
thought in this Being, as regards what is for uSi 
final purpose, from the causality thought in it as^ 
regards nature (and its purposive determinations inl 
general). We can only assume this distinction as] 
subjectively necessary by the constitution of oui 
cognitive faculties, and as valid for the reflective, not^ 
for the objectively determinant Judgment. But if wej 
come to practice, then such a regulative principle (for' 
prudence or wisdom) [commanding us] to act con-j 
formably to that as purpose, which by the constitu- 
tion of our cognitive faculties can only be thought as 
possible in a certain way, is at the same constitutive 



i.e. practically determinant. Nevertheless, as a 
princiijlt; for judging of the objective possibility of 
things, it is no way theoretically determinant {i.e. it 
does not say that the only kind of possibility which 
belongs to the Object is that which belongs to our 
thinking facuhy), but is a mere regulative principle 
for the reflective Judgment. 


This moral proof is not one newly discovered, 
although perhaps its basis is newly set forth ; since 
it has lain in man's rational faculty from its earliest 
germ, and is only continually developed with its 
advancing cultivation. So soon as men begin to 
reflect upon right and wrong — at a time when, quite 
indifferent as to the purposiveness of nature, they 
avail themselves of it without thinking anything 
more of it than that it is the accustomed course of 
nature^this judgment is inevitable, viz. that the 
issue cannot be the same, whether a man has 
behaved fairly or falsely, with equity or w^ith 
violence, even though up to his life's end, as far as 
can be seen, he has met with no happiness for his 
virtues, no punishment for his vices. It is as if 
they perceived a voice within [saying] that the issue 
must be different. And so there must lie hidden in 
them a representation, however obscure, of some- 
thing after which they feel themselves bound to 
strive ; with which such a result would not agree, — 
with which, if they looked upon the course of the 
world as the only order of things, they could not 
harmonise that inner purposive determination of 
their minds. Now they might represent in various 
rude fashions the way in which such an irregularity 



could be adjusted (an irregularity which must be 
far more revoltinj,' to the human mind than the 
blind chance that we sometimes wish to use as a 
principle for judging of nature). But they could 
never think any other principle of the possibility of 
the unification of nature with its inner ethical laws, 
than a supreme Cause governing the world accord- 
ing to moral laws ; because a final purpose in them 
proposed as duty, and a nature without any final 
purpose beyond them in which that purpose might 
be actualised, would involve a contradiction. As to 
the [inner]' constitution of that' World-Cause they 
could contrive much nonsense. But that moral 
relation in the government of the world would 
remain always the same, which by the uncultivated 
Reason, considered as practical, is universally 
comprehensible, but with which the speculative 
Reason can make far from the like advance, ^ — 
And in all probability attention would be directed 
first by this moral interest to the beauty and the 
purposes in nature, which would serve excellently 
to strengthen this Idea though they could not be 
the foundation of it. Still less could that moral 
inteVest be dispen.sed with, because it is only in 
reference to the final purpose that the investiga- 
tion of the purposes of nature acquires that im- 
mediate interest which displays itself in such a 
great degree in the admiration of them without any 
reference to the advantage to be derived from them< 

§ 89. Of the use 0/ i/ie moral argument 

The limitation of Reason in respect of all oui 
Ideas of the supersensible to the conditions of il 
^ [Second Edition.] 

practical employment has, as far as the Idea of God 
is concerned, undeniable uses. For it prevents 
Tlteology from rising into Theosofhy (Into tran- 
scendent concepts which confound Reason), or from 
sinking into Dkmovologv (an anthropomorphic way 
of representing the highest Being). And it also 
prevents Religion from turning into Theurgy (a 
fanatical belief that we can have a ft;e]ing of other 
supersensible beings and can reciprocally infhience 
them), or into Ido/afry (a superstitious belief that we 
can please the Supreme Being by other means than 
by a moral sentiment).' 

For if we permit the vanity or the presumption 
of sophistry to determine the least thing theoretically 
(in a way that extends our knowledge) in respect 
of what lies beyond the world of sense, or if we 
allow any pretence to be made of insight into the 
being and constitution of the nature of God. of 
His Understanding and Will, of the laws of both 
and of His properties which thus affect the world, 
I should like to know where and at what point 
we will bound these assumptions of Reason. For 
wherever such insight can be derived, there may 
yet more be expected (if we only strain our reflection, 
as we have a mind to do). Bounds must then be 
put to such claims according to a certain principle, 
and not merely because we fmd that all attempts 
of the sort have hitherto failed, for that proves 
nothing against the possibility of a better result. 

* In a pratlic.-i] sense lliat religion ts always idolatry which 
conceives the Hupreine lieiiig with properties, accordinj; to which 
somethinft else besides morality can be a fit condition for that which 
man can do being in accordance with His Will. For however pure 
and free from sensible images the concept thai we have (brme»i 
may be in a theoretical point of view, yet it uill be in a practical 
point of view still represented as an itioty i.e. in regard to the char- 
acter of His Will, anthropomorphically. 


But here no principle is possible, except either 
assume that in respect of the supersensible absolut 
nothing can be theoretically determined (exc 
mere negations) ; or else that our Reason conta 
in itself a yet unused mine of cognitions, reach 
no one knows how far, stored up for ourselves J 
our posterity. — But as concerns Religion, 
morals in reference to God as legislator, if 
theoretical cognition of Him is to come first, moi 
must be adjusted in accordance with Theolo] 
and not only is an external arbitrary legislat 
of a Supreme Being introduced in place of 
internal necessary legislation of Reason, but < 
whatever is defective in our insight into the nat 
of this Being must extend to ethical precepts, ; 
thus make Religion immoral and perverted. 

As regards the hope of a future life, if insteac 
the final purpose we have to accomplish in c 
formity with the precept of the moral law, we 
of our theoretical faculty of cognition a clue for 
judgment of Reason upon our destination (wh 
clue is only considered as necessary or worthy 
acceptance in a practical reference), then in l 
aspect Psychology, like Theology, gives no m 
than a negative concept of our thinking bei 
That is, none of its actions or of the phenom 
of the internal sense can be explained materialis 
ally ; and hence of its separate nature and of 
continuance or non-continuance of its persona 
after death absolutely no ampliative determir 
judgment is possible on speculative grounds 
t.> means of our whole theoretical cognitive fact 

r Here then everything is handed over to 

teleological judging of our existence in a practic 
necessary aspect, and to the assumption of 


continuance as a condition requisite for t)ie final 
purpose, absoiucely furnished by Reason. And so 
this advantage (which indeed at first glance seems 
to be a loss) is apparent ; that, as Theology for 
us can never be Theosophy, or rational Psychology 
become Pmumatohgy — an ampiiative science — so 
on the other hand this latter is assured of never 
falling into Materialism. Psychology, rather, is a 
mere anthropology of the internal sense, i.e, is the 
knowledge of our thinking self in life ; and, as 
theoretical cognition, remains merely empirical. 
On the other hand, rational Psychology, as far as 
it is concerned with questions as to our eternal 
existence, is not a theoretical science at all, but 
rests on a single conclusion of moral Teleology; 
as also its whole use is necessary merely on account 
of the latter, i.e. on account of our practical 

§ 90. Of the kind of belief in a teleohgical proof 
of the Being of God 

The first requisite for every proof, whether it 
be derived from the immediate empirical presenta- 
tion (as in the proof from observation of the object 
or from experiment) of that which is to be proved, 
or by Reason a priori from principles, is this. It 
should noi persuade, but conviiue^ or at least should 
tend to conviction. I.e. the ground of proof or 
the conclusion should not be merely a subjective 
(^Esthetical) determining ground of assent (mere 
illusion), but objectively valid and a logical ground 

1 [Cf. Introti. to Logic, \%. p. 63, " Conviction is opposed to Pcraua- 
sion, which is a belief from inadequate reasons, of which we da not 
know whether they are only subjective or zire also objective."] 



PART tt 

of cognition ; for otherwise the Understanding is 
ensnared, but not convinced. Such an illusorj' 
proof is that which, perhaps with good intent but 
yet with wilful concealment of its weaknesses, is 
adduced in Natural Theology. In this we brinj^ 
in the great number of indications of the origin 
of natural things according to the principle of 
purposes, and take advantage of the merely 
subjective basis of human Reason, viz. its special 
propensity to think only one principle instead of 
several, whenever this can be done without con- 
tradiction ; and, when in this principle only one or 
more requisites for determining a concept are 
furnished, to add in our thought these additional 
[features] so as to complete the concept of the 
thing by arbitrarily supplementing it. For, in truth, 
when we meet with so many products in nature 
which are to us marks of an intelligent cause, why 
should we not think One cause rather than many; 
and in this One, not merely great intelligence, 
power, etc., but rather Omniscience, and Omni- 
potence — in a word, tliink it as a Cause that con- 
tains the sufficient ground of such properties in all 
possible things ? Funher, why should we not 
ascribe to this unique, all-powerfut. original Being 
not only intelligence for natural laws and products. ^ 
but also, as to a moral Cause of the world, supreme, B 
ethical, practical Reason? For by this completion 
of the concept a sufficient principle is furnished 
both for insight into nature and for moral wisdom ; 
and no objection grounded in any way can be made 
against the possibility of such an Idea. If now 
at the same time the moral motives of the mind are 
aroused, and a lively interest in the latter is added 
by the force of eloquence (of which they are indeed 

Ai'rcsuix I 90 



very worthy), then there arises therefrom a per- 
suasion of the objective adequacy of the proof"; and 
also (in most cases of its use) a wholesome illusion 
which quite dispenses with all examination of its 
logical strictness, and even on the contrary regards 
this with abhorrence and dislike as if an impious 
doubt lay at its basis. — Now against this there 
is indeed nothing to say, so long as we only 
have regard to its popular usefulness. But then 
the division of the proof into the two dissimilar 
pares involved in the argument — belonging to 
physical and moral Teleology respectively — cannot 
and must not be prevented. For the blending 
of these makes it impossible to discern where the 
proper force of the proof lies, and in what part 
and how it must be elaborated in order that its 
validity may be able to stand the strictest ex- 
amination (even if we should be compelled to 
admit in one part the weakness of our rational 
insight). Thus it is the duly of the philosopher 
(supposing even that he counts as nothing the claims 
of sincerity) to expose the above illusion, however 
w'holesome it is, which such a confusion can produce; 
and to distinguish what merely belongs to persuasion 
from that which leads to conviction (for these are 
determinations of assent which differ not merely 
in degree but in kind), in order to present plainly 
the state of the mind in this proof in its whole 
clearness, and to be able to subject it frankly to 
the closest examination. 

But a proof which is intended to convince, can 
again be of two kinds ; either deciding what the 
object is in i/se/f, or yihaX it \s /or us ((or men in 
general} according to our necessary rational principles 
of judgment (proof *ot' u\^6uav or ^ar' avSptairw. 



rABT 11 

the last word being taken in its universal significa- 
tion of man in general). In the first case it is based 
on adequate principles for the determinant Judgment, 
in the second for the reflective Judgment. In the 
latter case it can never, when resting on merely 
theoretical principles, tend to conviction ; but if 
a practical principle of Reason (which is therefore 
universally and necessarily valid) lies at its basis, 
it may certainly lay claim to conviction adequate 
in a pure practiail point of view, i.e. to moral 
conviction. But a proof tends to conviction, though 
without convincing, if it is [merely]* brought on the 
way thereto ; i.e. if it contains in itself only objective 
grounds, which although not attaining to certainty 
are yet of such a kind that they do not serve merely 
for persuasion as subjective grounds of the judgment* 
AH theoretical grounds of proof resolve them- 
selves either into: (i) Proofs by logically strict 
Syliogisfns of Reason ; or where this is not the case, 
(2) Conclusions according to analogy, or where this 
also has no place, (3) Probable opinion ; or finally, 
which has the least weight, {4) Assumption of a 
merely possible ground of explanation, i.e. Hy- 
pothesis. — Now I say that all grounds of proof in 
general, which tend to theoretical conviction, can 
bring about no belief of this kind from the highest to 
the lowest degree, if there is to be proved the 
proposition of the existence of an original Being, as 
a God, in the signification adequate to the whole 
content of this concept : viz. a moral Author of the 
world, by whom the final purpose of creation is at 
the same time supplied. 

* [Second Edition.] _ 

^ [/.f. Urtktils. First Edition liad l/rth<itens^ ibc judging 


ArrRNDixIgo ANALOGY 399 

(i.) As to the ^^^ff//j' ffrrwrid/^ proof proceeding 
from universal to particular, we have sufficienll)' estab- 
lished in the Kritik the following : Since no intui- 
tton possible for us corresponds to the concept of 
a Btfing that is to be sought beyond nature — whose 
concept therefore, so far as it is to be theoretically 
determined by synthetical predicates, remains always 
problematical for us — there is absolutely no cognition 
of it to be had (by which the extent of our theoretical 
knowledge is in the least enlarged). The particular 
concept of a supersensible Being cannot be subsumed 
under the universal principles of the nature of things, 
in order to conclude from them to it, because those 
principles are valid simply for nature, as an object 
of sense. 

(2.) We can indeed think one of two dissimilar 
things, even in the very point of their dissimilarity, 
In accordance with the analogy^ of the other; but 

> AiutJoj^ (in a qualitative significatiau) is the identity of the 
relacion bcl^^ccn reasons and consequences (causes and effects), so 
far as it is to be found, notwithstanding the specific difference of the 
things or those properties in them whicii contain the reason for like 
consequences {i.e. considered apart from this relation). Thus we 
conceive of the artificial constructions of beasts by comparing them 
with those of men ; by comparing the ground of those effects brought 
about by the former, which we do not know, wilh the ground of 
similar effects brought about by men (reason), «hich we do know ; 
i.e. wc regard the ground of the former as an analogon of reason. 
We then try ni the same time to show that the ground of the artisan 
faculty of beasts, which we call instinct, spcci^cally different as it 
is in fact from reason, has yet a similar relation to its effect (the 
buildings of the beaver as cx>mpared wilh those of men). — But then 
I cannot therefore conclude that because man uses nmon for 
his building, the licaver must have the like, and call this a 
conclusion according to analogy. Hut from the similarity of the 
mode of operation of beasts (of which we cannot immediately 
perceive the ground) to that of men (of which we aie immediately 
conscious), we can quite rightly conclude nct'ordittg fo lutalo^^ that 
beasts loo act in accordance with representaiions (not as Ofscaries 
has it, that they are machines), and that despite ihcir specific 
distinction they are yet (as living beings) of the some genus ns 





we cannol, from that wherein they are dissimilar, 
conclude from the one to the other by analogy, Le* 
transfer from the one to the other this sign of 
specific distinction. Thus I can, according to the 
analog)' of the law of the equality of action and 
reaction in the mutual attraction and repulsion of 
bodies, also conceive of the association of the 
members of a comnionweahh according to rules of 
right ; but I cannot transfer to it those specific 
determinations (material attraction or repulsion), and 
ascribe them to the citizens in order to constitute a 
system called a state. — Just so we can indeed 
conceive of the causality of the original Being in 
respect of the things of the world, as natural 
purposes, according to the analogy of an Under- fl 
standing, as ground of the forms of certain products 
which we call works of an (for this only takes place 
on behalf of the theoretical or practical use that 
we have to make by our cognitive faculty of this 
concept in respect of the natural things in the world 
according to a certain principle), but we can in 
no way conclude according to analogy, because in 
the case of beings of the world Understanding must 

man. The principle of our riyht so to conclude consists in the 
sameness of the ground fur reckoning beasts in respect of the said 
delerminiLtion in the same genus with men, regaidcd as men, so far 
as we can externally compare them with one another in arcordance 
with their actions. There is pur ratio. Just so I can conceive, 
according to the analogy of an Under:<landirig, the causality of the 
supreme World-Cause, by comparing its purpo*.ive products in tlic 
world with the artificial works of men ; but I cannot cnnclurie 
according to analog to those properties in it [which are m man], 
because here the principle of the possibility of sucli a method of 
reasoning entirely fails, \'\i. the purittis rntionti fur counting ihc 
.Supreme IleJng in one and the same ^enus with man (in respect of 
the causality of both). 'I he causality of the beings of the world, 
which is always sensibly conditioned (as is causality tlirough Under- 
siandiug) cannot be imnsfened to a Tleing which has in common with 
ihem no generic concept save that ui Thing in general. 







be ascribed to the cause of an effect whfch is judged 
artificial, that in respect of nature the same causality 
which we perceive in men attaches also to the Being 
which is quite distinct from nature. For this concerns 
the very point of dissimilarity which is thought 
between a cause sensibly conditioned in respect of 
its effects and the supersensible original Being itself 
in our concept of it, and which therefore cannot be 
transferred from one to the other. — In the very 
fact that I must conceive the divine causaHty only 
according to the analogy of an Understanding (which 
faculty we know in no other being than in sensibly- 
conditioned man) lies the prohibition to ascribe to 
it this Understanding in its proper signification.' 

(3.) Opinion finds in rt//*/^W judgments no place 
whatever, for by them we either cognise something 
as quite certain or else cognise nothing at all. But 
if the given grounds of proof from which we start (as 
here from the purposes in the world) are empirical, 
then we cannot even with their aid form any opinion 
as to anything beyond the world of sense, nor can 
we concede to such venturesome judgments the 
smallest claim to probability. For probability Is 
part of a certainty possible in a certain series of 
grounds (its grounds compare with the sufficient 
ground as parts with a whole), the insufficient ground 
of wliich must be susceptible of completion. But 
since, as determining grounds of one and the same 
judgment, they must be of the same kind, for other- 
wise they would not together constitute a whole (such 
as certainty is), one part of them cannot lie within 

' Wc thus miss nothing in the represcniatiun of tlie relations of 
ibis Being to the wurlil, as ftir .is the canscquetires. Iheorelical or 
practical, of this concept are concerned. To w-ish to investigate what 
it is in itself, is a curiosity as purposclcis .is it is vain. 

2 D 




the bounds of possible experience and another outside 
all possible experience. Consequently, since merely 
empirical grounds of proof lead to nothing super- 
sensible, and since what is lacking in the series of 
them cannot in any way be completed, we do not 
approach in the least nearer in our attempt Co attain 
by their means to the supersensible and to a cognition 
thereof. Thus in any judgment about the latter by 
means of arguments derived from experience, prob- 
ability has no place. 

(4.) If an hypothesis is to serve for the explanation 
of the possibility of a given phenomenon, at least its 
possibilit)' must be completely certain.' 1 1 is sufficient 
that in an hypothesis I disclaim any cognition of 
actuality (which is claimed in an opinion given out 
as probable) ; more than this I cannot give up. The 
possibility of that which I place at the basis of my 
explanation, must at least be exposed to no doubt ; 
otherwise there would be no end of empty chimeras. 
But to assume the possibility of a supersensible 
Being determined according to certain concepts 
would be a completely groundless supposition. For 
here none of the conditions requisite for cognition» 
as regards that in it which rests upon intuition, is 
given, and so the sole criterion of possibility re- 
maining is the mere principle of Contradiction 
(which can only prove the possibility of the thought, 
not of the object thought). 

The result then is this. For the existence 
[Dasein] of the original Ueing, as a Godhead, or of 
the soul as an immortal spirit, absolutely no proof 
in a theoretical point of view is possible for the 

' [Cf. Jniroti. to I^gi^t p. 76, where the candiiions of a legiiimaie 
hypothesis arc laid down. Sec also Krittk oi Pure Reason^ Methodo- 
logy, c. i. g 3.] 

ArpBNUix I 91 



human Reason, which can bring about even the 
least degree of belief. The ground of this is quite 
easy to comprehend. For determining our Ideas 
of the supersensible we have no material whatever, 
and we must derive this latter from things in the 
world of sense, which is absolutely inadequate for 
such an Object. Thus, in the absence of all deter- 
mination of it. nothing remains but the concept of a 
non-sensible something which contains the ultimate 
ground of the world of sense, but which does not 
furnish any knowledge (any amplification of the 
concept) of its inner constitution. 

§ 9 1 . 0/ the kind of belief produced by a practieal 


If we look merely to the way in which anything 
can be for //j. (according to the subjective constitu- 
tion of our representative powers) an Object of 
knowledge [res cognoscibilis). then our concepts will 
not be confronted with Objects, but merely with our 
cognitive faculties and the use which they can make 
of a given representation (in a theoretical or practical 
point of view). Thus the question whether any- 
thing is or is not a cognisable being is not a question 
concerning the possibility of things but of our 
knowledge of them. 

Cognisable things are of three kinds : things of 
opinion (opinabiie) \ things of fact (scibiie)\ Sind things 
of faith {mere credibile). 

(i.) Objects of mere rational Ideas, which for 
theoretical knowledge cannot be presented in any 
possible experience, are so far not cognisable things, 
and consequently in respect of them we can form no 
opinion ; for to form an o^\vi\on a priori is absurd in 




itscll and the straight road to mere chimeras. Either 
then our proposition is certain a priori or it contains 
nothing for belief. Therefore tkift^s of opinion are 
always Objects of an empirical cognition at least 
possible in itself (objects of the world of sense) ; but 
which, on account merely of the [low] degree of this 
faculty that we possess, is /or us impossible. 
Thus the ether of the new physicists,' an elastic 
fluid pen'ading all other material (mingled in- 
timately with it) is a mere thing of opinion, yet is 
such that, if our external senses were sharpened to 
the highest degree, it could be perceived ; though it 
can never be presented in any observation or ex- 
periment. To assume [the existence of] rational 
inhabitants of other planets is a thing of opinion ; for 
if we could come closer to 'them, which is in itself 
possible, we should decide by experience whether 
they did or did not exist ; but as we shall never come 
so near, it remains in the region of opinion. But to 
hold the opinion that there are in the material 
universe pure thinking spirits without bodies (viz. if 
we dismiss as unworthy of our notice certain pheno- 
mena which have been published as actual') is to be 
called poetic fiction. This is no thing of opinion, 
but a mere Idea which remains over, when we 

* [This illustration is also given in the Lo^ic (p. 57) ; wliere the 
three moiitoi belief, Opinion, Faiih, and Knowledge, are distinguished 
from each other. Cf. Kritik of Pure Reasoiu Methodolog)', c ii. g 3.] 

2 [The specLlatioiis of Swedcnborg seem to liavc always had a 
strange fascination for Kant. In an early essay, Dreams e/a I't'stonary 
explained by Dreams 0/ Metaphysics^ he avows his scepticism as to 
ihc value of the infonnalion which " psychical research " can supply 
aboui the spirit-world, though he is carcftil not to commit himself 10 
any dogmatic statement on the subject of ghosts. In llic Kritik of 
I'ure Reason (when discussing the Postulates of Empirical Thought) 
he gives, as an instance of a concept inconsistent with the canons of 
possibility, '• a power of being in a community of thought with other 
men, however distant from □$."] 




remove from a thinking being everything material, 
and only leave thought to it. Whether then the 
latter (which we know only in man, that is, in 
combination with a body) does survive, we cannot 
decide. Such a thing is a sophistical being {ens 
7-ationis ratiocinantis\ not a rationai being {ens 
raiionis ratiocinata;) \ ; of which latter it is pos- 
sible to show conclusively, the objective reality 
of its concept ; at least for the practical use of 
Reason, because this which has its peculiar and 
apodictically certain principles a prion, demands 
(postulates) it. 

(2.) Objects for concepts, whose objective reality 
can be proved (whether through pure Reason or 
through experience, and, in the first case, from its 
theoretical or practical data, in all cases by means of 
a corresponding intuition) are things of faet {res 
facti).^ or this kind arc the mathematical projierties 
of magnitudes (in geometry), because they are sus- 
ceptible of a presentation a priori for the theoretical 
use of Reason. Further, things or their charac- 
teristics, which can be exhibited in exi^erience 
(cither our own or that of others through the 
medium of testimony) are likewise things of fact. 
— And, what is very remarkable, there is one 
rational Idea (which is susceptible in itself of no 
presentation in intuition, and consequently, of no 
theoretical proof of its possibility) which also comes 
under things of fact. This is the Idea oi freedom, 

' [Cf. supra, p. 2 2g.] 

* I here extend, correctly as it seems to me, the concept of a 
thins ^^ ^^^-^ beyond the usual ^ignificalioii of this word. For it is 
not n*ftdfu!, not even feasible, to limit this expressicirt t-»"r.-lv m 
actual experience, if we are talking of the relatioo p' 
cognitive faculties ; foran experience merely po"' 
in order that we may speak of them r 
kind of cognition. 




whose reality, regarded as that of a particular kind 
of causality (of which the concept, theoretically 
considered, would be transcendent), may l)e exhibited 
by means of practical laws of pure Reason, and 
conformably to this, in actual actions, and, con- 
sequently, in experience. — This is the only one 
of all the Ideas of pure Reason, whose object is a 
thing of fact, and to be reckoned under the scihilia, 

(3.) Objects, which in reference to the use of 
pure practical Reason that is in conformity with 
duty must be thought a priori (whether as conse- 
quences or as grounds), but which are transcendent 
for its theoretical use, are mere things of /a ilk Of 
this kind is the highest good in the world, to be 
brought about by freedom.' The concept of this 
cannot be established as regards its objective reality 
in any experience possible for us and thus adequately 
for the theoretical use of Reason ; but its use is 
commanded by practical pure Reason [in reference 
to the best possible working out of that purpose],* 
and it consequently must be assumed possible. This 
commanded effect, together ivitk the only conditions 
of ils possibility thinkable by us, viz. the Being of 
God and the immortality of the soul, are things 0/ 
faith (res f del), and of all objects are the only ones 
which can be so called.^ For though what we learn 
by testimony from the experience of others must be 
believed by us, yet it is not therefore a thing of 

^ [Cf Introduction to Lcgic, p. 59 note.] 

3 [Second Edition.] 

' Things of faith are not therefore artktet of faitk ; if n-c 
nndcrstand by the latter things of faith to the confession of which 
(internal or exrem.-il) we can be )>Dund. Natural theolo^'y con- 
tains notliin^ like tliis. For since ihcy, as Uiinys of faith (like 
thintfs of fact) cannot be based on theoretical proofs, [they are 
accepted by] a belief which is free and which only as such is compatible 
with the morality of the subject. 

ArpENDtX i 91 



faith ; for it was the proper experience of some one 
witness and so a thing of fact, or is presupposed as 
such. Again it must be possible by this path (that 
of historical faith) to arrive at knowledge ; and the 
Objects of histor}' and geography, like everj'thing 
in general which it is at least possible to know by 
the constitution of our cognitive faculties, belong 
not to things of faith but to things of fact. It is 
only objects of pure Reason which can be things of 
faith at all, though not as objects of the mere pure 
speculative Reason : for then they could not be 
reckoned with certaint)' among things, i.e. Objects 
of that cognition which is possible for us. They are 
Ideas, i.e. concepts of the objective reality of which 
we cannot theoretically be certain. On the other 
hand, the highest final purpose to be worked out by 
us, by which alone we can become worthy of being 
ourselves the final purpose of creation, is an Idea 
which has in a practical reference objective reality 
for us, and is also a thing. But because we cannot 
furnish such reality to this concept in a theoretical 
point of view, it is a mere thing of faith of the pure 
Reason, along with God and Immortality, as the 
conditions under which alone we, in accordance with 
the constitution of our (human) Reason, can conceive 
the possibility of that effect of the use of our freedom 
in conformity with law. But belief in things of faith 
is a belief in a pure practical point of view, i.e. a 
moral faith, which proves nothing for theoretical pure 
rational cognition, but only for that which is practical 
and directed to the fulfilment of its duties; it in no 
way extends speculation or the practical rules of 
prudence in accordance with the principle of self- 
love. If the supreme principle of all moral laws is 
a postulate, so is also the possibility of its highest 




Object ; and consequently, too, the condition under 
which we can think this possibility is postulated 
along with it and by it Thus the cognition of 
the latter is neither knowledge nor opinion of the 
being and character of these conditions, regarded as 
theoretical cognition ; but is a mere assumption in 
a reference which is practical and commanded for 
the moral use of our Reason. 

If we were able also with some plausibility to 
base upon the purposes of nature, which physical 
Teleology presents to us in such rich abundance, a 
iieierminaU concept of an intelligent World-Cause, 
then the existence [Dasein] of this Being would not 
be a thing of faith. For since this would not be 
assumed on behalf of the performance of my duty, 
but only in reference to the explanation of nature, 
it would be merely the opinion and hypothesis most 
conformable to our Reason. Now such Teleology 
leads in no way to a determinate concept of God : 
on the contrar}', this can only be found in the con- 
cept of a moral Author of the World, because this 
alone furnishes the final purpose to which we can only 
reckon ourselves [as attached] if we behave conform- 
ably to what the moral law prescribes as final purpoi 
and consequently obliges us [to do]. Hence it is' 
only by its reference to the Object of our duty, as 
the condition of the possibility of attaining the final 
purpose of the same, that the concept of God attains 
the advantage of being [reckoned as] valid in our 
belief as a thing of faith ; but on the other hand, this 
same concept cannot make its Object valid as a thing 
of fact For, although the necessity of duty is very 
plain for practical Reason, yet the attainment of its 
final purpose, so far as it is not altogether in our 
own power, is only assumed on behalf of the practical 




use of Reason, and therefore is not so practically 
necessary as duty itself.' 

Faith {as haUlus, not as actt^ is the mora! 
attitude of Reason as to belief in that which is un- 
attainable by theoretical cognition. It is therefore 
the permanent principle of the mind, to assume as 
true, on account of the obligation in reference to it, 
that which it is iiecessar)' to presuppose as conilition 
of the possibility of the highest moral final purpose • ; 

^ The final piiqiose which the moral law enjoins upon us to 
funher. is not the grounrf of duty ; since this lies in the moral law, 
which, as formal practical principle, leads categorically, independently 
of the Objects of the faculty of desire (the iraterial of the will) and 
cons«iu(rntIy of any purpose whatever. TTiis formal characteristic of 
my actions (their subordination under the principle of universal 
validity), wherein alone consists their inner moral worth, is quite in 
our power ; and I can quite well absttact from the possibility or the 
unattainabtencss of purposes which I am obliged to promote in con- 
formity with that law (because in them consists only the external 
worth of ray actions) as something which is never completely in my 
power, in orilcr only to took In that wliich is of my doing. Bui then 
the design of promoting the final purpose of all rational beings 
(happiness so far as it is possible for It to be accordant with duty) 
is even yet prescribed by the law of duty. The speculative Reason, 
however, docs not see al all the attainahleness of this (neither on the 
side of our own physical faculty nor on that of the co-operation of 
nature). It must rather, so far as we can judge in a rational way, 
hold the derivation, by the aid of such causes, of such .1 consequence 
of our good conduct from mere n.iture (internal and cxicmal) without 
Cod and immortality, to be an ungrounded and vain, though well- 
meant, espectaicon ; and if it could have complete certainty of this 
judgment, it would regard the moral law itself as the mere deception of 
our Reason in a practical aspect. I)ul since the speculative Reason 
fully convinces itself that the latter can never take place, but that on 
the other hand those Ideas whose object lies outside nature can be 
thought without contradiction, it must for its own practical law .ind 
the problem prescribed thereby, and therefore in a moral aspect, 
recognise those Ideas as real in order not to come into contradiction 
with itself. 

" It is a trust in the promise of the moral law ; [not however 
such as is contained in it, but <mc}\ as I put into it and that on 
morally adequate grounds.'] For a final purpose cannot be com- 
manded by any law of Keasun without this latter at the same lime 

' [Scconil Edilioa] 



although Its possibility or impossibility be aliKe 
impossible for us to see into. Faith (absohilely so 
called) is trust in the attainment of a design, the 
promotion of which is a duly, but the possibility ol 
the fulfilment of which (and consequently also that 
of the only conditions of it thinkable by us) is not to 
be comprehended by us. Faith, then, that refers to 
particular objects, which are not objects of possible 
knowledge or opinion (in which latter case it oughi 
to be called, especially in historical matters, credulity 
and not faith), is quite moral. It is a free belief, not 
in that for which dogmatical proofs for the theore- 
tically determinant Judgment are to be found, or in 
that to which we hold ourselves bound, but in that 
which we assume on behalf of a design in accord- 
ance with laws of freedom. This, however, is not, 
like opinion, without any adequate ground ; but, u 
grounded as in Reason (although only in respect oi 
its practical employment), and adequaiely for Hi 
design. For without this, the moral attitude oi 
thought in its repudiation of the claim of the theore- 
tical Reason for proofs (of the possibility of the 
Objects of morality) has no permanence ; bui 
wavers between practical commands and theoretical 
doubts. To be ifuredulous means to cling tc 

protnisinx, however uncertainly, \i:& »ttaJnablcncss ; and thus justify 
ing our belief in the special conditions under which aloDc our Reason 
can think it as attainable. The word^V« expresses this ; and it cat 
only appear doubtful, how this expression and this particular Idesi 
came into moral philosophy, since it Jirst was introduced n-iili 
Christianity, and the adoption of it perhaps might seem to be only a 
flattering imitation of Christian terniinolog)-. But tliis is not the onl) 
case in which this wonderful religion with its great sinipll* ity of state 
ment has enriched philosophy with far more definite and purer coO' 
cepts of morality, than it had been able to furnish before ; but whtch^ 
once they are there, arc/rar/y assented to by Reason and are assume^ 
as concepts to which it cmiM well have come of itself and whit 
coutd and should have introduced. 

APraNnix t 9t 



maxims, and not to believe testimony in general ; 
but he is unbelieving, who denies all validity to 
rational Ideas, because there is wanting a tluoretital 
ground of their reality.' He judges therefore dog- 
matically. A dogmatical unbeiief cannot subsist 
together with a moral ma.xlm dominant in the 
mental attitude (for Reason cannot command one to 
follow a purpose, which is cognised as nothing more 
than a chimera) ; but a doubtful faith can. To this 
the absence of conviction by grounds of speculative 
Reason is only a hindrance ; and for this a critical 
insight into the limits of this faculty can remove its 
influence upon conduct, while it substitutes by way 
of compensation a paramount practical belief. 

If, in place of certain mistaken attempts, we 
wish to introduce a different principle into philo- 
sophy and to procure Influence for it, it produces 
great contentment if we can see how and why those 
attempts must have disappointed us. 

Gody freedom, and immortality, are the problems 
at the solution of which all the preparations of 
Metaphysic aim, as their iikimate and unique purpose. 
Now it WHS believed that the doctrine of freedom is 
needed for practical philosophy only as its negative 
condition ; but that on the other hand the doctrine 
of God and of the constitution of the soul, as belong- 
ing to theoretical philosophy, must be established for 
themselves and separately, in order afterwards to 
unite both with that which the moral law (possible 
only under the condition of freedom) commands, 
and so to constitute a religion. But we can easily 

* [Cf. Introii. to togic^ \x. p. 60, ''That man is morally urAelieving 
who does not accept that which though impossibU to know is morally 
necessary to suppose"] 


see that these attempts must fail. For from mt 
ontological concepts of things in general, or of the 
existence of a necessary Being, it is possible to 
form absolutely no determinate concept of an 
original Rcing by means of predicates which can 
be given in experience and can therefore serve for 
cognition. Again a concept based on experience 
of the physical purposiveness of nature could furnish 
no adequate proof for morality, or consequently for 
cognition of a Deity. Just as little could the cogni- 
tion of the soul by means of experience (which we 
only apply in this life) supply us with a concept of 
its spiritual immortal nature, a concept which would 
thus be adequate for morality. Tkeohgy and 
Pfuumalology, regarded as problems of the sciences 
of a speculative Reason, can be established by no 
empirical data and predicates, because the concept 
of them is transcendent for our whole cognitive 
faculty. — The determination of both predicates, 
God and the soul (in respect of its immortality) 
alike, can only take place by means of predicates, 
which, although they are only possible from a super- 
sensible ground, must yet prove their reality in 
experience ; for thus alone can they make possible 
a cognition of a quite supersensible Being. — The 
only concept of this kind to be met with in human 
Reason is that of the freedom of men under moral 
laws, along with the final purpose which Reason 
prescribes by these laws. Of these two [the moral 
laws and the final purpose] the first are useful for 
ascribing to the Author of Nature, the second for 
ascribing to man» those pro|x:rties which contain 
the necessary condition of the possibility of both 
[God and the soul] ; so that from this Idea we can 
conclude as to the existence and constitution 



these beings which are otherwise quite hidden 
from us. 

Thus the ground of the failure of the attempt 
to prove God and immortality by the merely 
theoretical path lies in this, that no cognition 
whatever is possible of the supersensible in this 
way (of natural concepts). The ground of its 
success by the moral way (of the concept of free- 
dom) is as follows. Here the supersensible (free- 
dom), which in this case is fundamenta], by a 
determinate law of causality that springs from it. 
not only supplies material for cognition of other 
supersensibles (the moral final purpose and the 
conditions of its attainability), but also establishes 
its reahty in actions as a fact ; though at the same 
time it can furnish a valid ground of proof in no 
other than a practical point of view (the only one, 
however, of which Religion has need). 

It is thus very remarkable that of the three pure 
rational Ideas, God^ freedom, and ivtmortaiity, that 
of freedom is the only concept of the supersensible 
which (by means of the causality that is thought in 
it) proves its objective reality in nature by means of 
the effects it can produce there ; and thus renders 
possible the connection of both the others with 
nature, and of all three together with Religion. 
We have therefore in us a principle capable of 
determining the Idea of the supersensible within 
us, and thus also that of the supersensible without 
us, for knowledge, although only in a practical 
point of view ; a principle this of which mere 
speculative philosophy (which could give a merely 
negative concept of freedom) must despair. Conse- 
quendy the concept of freedom (as fundamental 
concept of all unconditioned practical laws) can 




extend Reason beyond those bounds, within which 
every natural (theoretical) concept must remain 
hopelessly limited. 

General remark on TeUology 

If the question is, what rank the moral argument^ 
which proves the Being of God only as a thing of. 
faith for the practical pure Reiison, maintains among 
the other arguments in philosophy, it is easy to 
count up the whole possessions of this last ; by 
which it appears that there is here no choice, 
but that our theoretical faculty must give up all its 
pretensions before an impartial Kritik. 

All belief must in the first place be grounded 
upon facts, if it is not to be completely groundless ; 
and therefore the only distinction in proofs that 
there can be is that belief in the consequence derived 
therefrom can either be grounded on this fact as 
knovjiedge for theoretical cognition, or merely 
failh for practical. All facts belong either to thi 
naiural concept which proves its reality in lh< 
objects of sense, given (or which may possibly bd 
given) before all natural concepts ; or to the concept 
of freedom, which sufficiently establishes its reality 
through the causality of Reason in regard of certain 
effects in the- world of sense, possible through it.i 
which it incontrovertibly postulates in the moral law. 
The natural concept (merely belonging to theoretical 
cognition) is now either metaphysical and thinkable 
completely a priori^ or physical, i.e. thinkable aj 
posteriori and only necessary through determinate 
experience. The metaphysical natural concept 
(which presupposes no determinate experience) is 
therefore ontological. 




The ontohgical proof of the being of God from 
the concept of an original Being is either that 
which from ontological predicates, by which alone it 
can be thought as completely determined, infers 
absolutely necessary being ; or that which, from the 
absolute necessity of the being somewhere of some 
thing, whatever it be, infers the predicates of the 
original Being. For there belongs to the concept 
of an original Being, inasmuch as it is not derived 
from anything, the unconditioned necessity of its 
presence, and (in order to represent this) its com- 
plete determination by Its [merc]^ concept. It was 
believed that both requirements were found in the 
concept of the ontological Idea of a Being the most 
real of ail; and thus two metaphysical proofs 

The proof (properly called ontological) resting 
upon a merely metaphysical natural concept con- 
cludes from the concept of the Being the most real 
of all, its absolutely necessary existence ; for (it is 
said), if it did not exist, a reality would be wanting 
to it, viz. existence. — The other (which is also 
called the mQiZi^hysico-cosmolo^kal prooQ concludes 
from the necessity of the existence somewhere of a 
thing (which must be conceded, for a being is 
given to us in self-consciousness), its complete 
determination as that of a Being the most real of 
all : for everything existing must be completely 
determined, but the absolutely necessary (i.e. that 
which 7ve ought to cognise as such and conse- 
quently a priori) must be completely determined by 
means 0/ its own (oiicept. But this is only the case 
with the concept of a thing the most real of all. 
It is not needful to expose here the sophistry in 
' [First Edition.] 




both arguments, which has been already done else- 
where;* it is only needful to remark that neither 
proof, even if they could be defended by all 
manner of dialectical subtlety, could ever pass from 
the schools into the world, or have the slightest 
influence on the mere sound Understanding. 

The proof, which rests on a natural concept 
that can only be empirical and yet is to lead us 
beyond the bounds of nature regarded as the 
complex of the objects of sense, can be no other 
than that derived from i\\^ purposes of nature. The 
concept of these cannot, it is true, be given a priori 
but only through experience ; but yet it promises 
such a concept of the original ground of nature as 
alone, among all those which we can conceive, is 
suited to the supersensible, viz. that of a highest 
Understanding as Cause of the world. This, in fact, 
it completely performs in accordance with principles 
of the retlective Judgment, i.e. in accordance with 
the constitution of our (human) faculty of cogni- 
tion. — But whether or not it is in a position to 
supply from the same data this concept of a supreme^ 
i,e. independent intelligent Being, in short of a God 
or Author of a world under moral laws, and conse- 
quently as sufficiently determined for the Idea of a 
final purpose of the being of the world — this is the 
question upon which everything depends, whether 
we desire a theoretically adequate concept of the 
Original Being on behalf of our whole knowledge of 
nature, or a practical concept for religion. 

This argument derived from physical Teleology 
is worthy of respect. It produces a similar eflect 
in the way of conviction ujwn the common Under- 
standing as upon the subtlest thinker; and a 

'^ [In the Kriiik of Furt Reason^ Dialeaic, bk. II. c. iii. ^ 4, \,\ 





Reimarus^ has acquired immortal honour in his 
work (not yet superseded), in which he abundantly 
develops this ground of proof with his peculiar 
thoroujijhness and lucidity. — But how does this 
proof acquire such mighty influence upon the mind, 
especially in a judgment by cold reason (for we 
might refer to persuasion the emotion and elevation 
of reason produced by the wonders of nature) upon 
a calm and resigned assent ? It is not the physical 
purposes, which all indicate in the World Cause 
an unfathomable intelligence; these are inadequate 
thereto, because they do not content the want of the 
inquirinf,' Reason. For, wherefore (it asks) are all 
those natural things that exhibit art ? Wherefore 
is man himself, whom we must regard as the ulti- 
mate purpose of nature thinkable by us ? Wherefore 
is this collective Nature here, and what is the final 
purpose of such great and manifold art ? Reason 
cannot be contented with enjoyment or with con- 
templation, observation, anci admiration (which, if 
it stops tiiere, is only enjoyment of a particular kind) 
as the ultimate final purpose for the creation of the 
world and of man himself; for this presupposes a 
personal worth, which man alone can give himself, 
as the condition under which alone he and his being 
can be the final purpose. Failing this (which alone 
is susceptible of a definite concept), the purposes of 
nature do not satisfactorily answer our questions ; 
especially because they cannot furnish any deter- 
mivate concept of the highest Being as an all- 
sufficient (and therefore unique and so properly 

^ [H, S. Reimanis (1694.1768), the author of the famous 
tVot/enbuttel Fragments, published after the death of Kcimarus by 
Lcssing. The book alluded to by Kant is probably tlie Abhund- 
iungen von lien vomekmstett Wahrkdlen der naturUchen Religion 
(1754), which had {{real jiopularity in its day.] 

2 E 


called kigkesi) being, and of ihe laws according to 
which an Understanding is Cause of the world. 

Hence thai the physico-ieleological proof con- 
vinces, just as if it were a theological proof, does 
not arise from our availing ourselves of the Ideas of 
purposes of nature as so many empirical grounds of 
proof of a higfiest Understanding. But ii mingles 
itself unnoticed with that moral ground of proof, 
which dwells in every man and influences him 
secretly, in the conclusion by which we ascribe to 
the Being, which manifests itself with such incom- 
prehensible an in the purposes of nature, a fmal 
purpose and consequently wisdom (without however 
being justified in doing so by the perception of ihc 
former); and by which therefore we arbitrarily fill 
up the lacunas of the [design] argument. In fact 
it is only the moral ground of proof which produces 
conviction, and that only in a moral reference with 
which every man feels inwardly his agreement. 
But the physico-teleological proof has only theJ 
merit of leading the mind in its consideration of the} 
world by the way of purposes and through them to] 
an intelligent Author of the world ; for the moral 
reference to purposes and the Idea of a moral legis- 
lator and Author of the world, as a theological 
concept, seem to be developed of themselves out of 
that ground of proof although they are in truth pmre 

From this on we may allow the customary 
statement to stand. For it is generally difficult (if, 
the distinction requires much reflection) for ordinary 
sound Understanding to distinguish from one 
another as heterogeneous the different principles 
which it confuses, and from one of which alone it 
actually draws conclusions with correctness. The 





moral ground of proof of the Being of God, properly 
speaking, does not merely complete and render 
perfect the physico-teleological proof; but it is a 
special proof that suppiies the conviction which is 
wanting in the latter. This latter in fact can do 
nothing more than guide Reason, in its judgments 
upon the ground of nature and that contingent but 
admirable order of nature only known to us by 
experience, to the causality of a Cause containing 
the ground of the same in accordance with purposes 
(which we by the constitution of our cognitive 
faculties must think as an intelligent cause); and 
thus by arresting the attention of Reason it makes 
it more susceptible of the moral proof. For what 
is requisite to the latter concept is so essentially 
different from everything which natural concepts 
contain and can teach, that there is need of a parti- 
cular ground of proof quite independent of the 
former, in order to supply the concept of the 
original Being adequately for Theology and to 
infer its existence. — The moral proof (which it 
is true only proves the Being of God in a practical 
though indispensable aspect of Reason) would pre- 
serve all its force, if we found in the world no 
material, or only that which is doubtful, for physical 
Teleology. It is possible to conceive rational beings 
surrounded by a nature which displayed no clear 
trace of organisation but only the effects of a mere 
mechanism of crude matter ; on behalf of which and 
amid the changeability of some merely contingent 
purposive forms and relations there would appear 
to be no ground for. inferring an intelligent Author. 
In such case there would be no occasion for a 
physical Teleology ; antl yet Reason, which here 
gets no guidance from natural concepts, would 



find in the concept of freedom and in the mora] 
Ideas founded thereon a practically sufficient ground 
for postulating the concept of the original Being 
in conformity with these, i.e. as a Deity, and foi 
postulating nature (even the nature of our own 
being) as a final purpose in accordance with freedom 
and its laws — and all this in reference to the indis- 
pensable command of practical Reason. — How* 
ever the fact that there is in the actual world foi 
the rational beings in it abundant material foi 
physical Teleology (even though this is not neces- 
sar)') serves as a desirable confirmation of the 
moral argument, as far as nature can exhibit any- 
thing analogous to the (moral) rational Ideas. Foi 
the concept of a supreme Cause possessing intelli- 
gence (though not reaching far enougli for a 
Theology) thus acquires sufficient reality for the 
reflective judgment, but it is not required as the 
basis of the moral proof ; nor does this latter serve 
to complete as a proof the former, which does noi 
by itself point to morality at all, by means of aH 
argument deseloped according to a single principle, 
Two such heterogeneous principles as nature and 
freedom can only furnish two different kinds ol 
proof; and the attempt to derive one from the 
other is found unavailing as regards that which ^ 
to be proved. ■ 

If the physico-teleological ground of proOi 
sufficed for the proof which is sought, it woulc 
be very, satisfactory for ihe speculative Reason 
for it would furnish the hope of founding a Theo^ 
sophy (for so we must call the .theoretical cognitios 
of the divine nature and its existence which would 
suflfice at once for the explanation of the constitutioi] 
of the world and for the determination of moral laws] 



In the same way if Psychology enabled us to arrive 
at a cognition of the immortality of the soul it would 
make Pneumatology possible, which would be just 
as welcome to the speculative Reason. But neither, 
agreeable as they would be to the arrogance of our 
curiosity, would satisfy the wish of Reason in resi>ect 
of a theor)* which must be based on a cognition of 
the nature of things. Whether the first, as Theology, 
and the second, as Anthropology, when founded on 
the moral principle, i.e. the principle of freedom, and 
consequently in accordance with the practical use [of 
Reason] do not better fulfil their objective final design, 
is another question which we need not here pursue. 
The physico-teleological ground of proof does 
not reach to Theology, because it does not and 
cannot give any determinate concept, sufficient 
for this design, of the original Being; but we must 
derive this from quite another quarter, or must 
supply its lacuna by an arbitrary addition. You 
in'fer, from the great purposiveness of natural forms 
and their relations, an intelligent Cause of the 
world ; but what is the degree of this intelligence 
[Verstand] ? Without doubt you cannot assume that 
it is the highest possible intelligence; because for 
thai it would be requisite that you should see that 
a greater intelligence than that of which you per- 
ceive proofs in the world, is not thinkable ; and this 
would be to ascribe Omniscience to yourself.' In 
the same way, if you infer from the magnitude of 
the world the very great might of its Author, 
you must be content with this having only a com- 
parative significance for your faculty of comprehen- 

i* [These arguments arc advanced by Hume, Jn^uiiy^ % vii. Cf. 
also Kritik of Pure Reason, Dialectic, bk. 11. c. iii. § 6, and Kritik 
of Practical Reason, Dialectic, c. ii. § vji.] 



PAET 11 

sion ; for since you do not know all that is possible, 
so iis to compare it with the magnitude of the world 
as far as you know it, you cannot Infer the Ahnighli- 
ness of its Author from so small a standard, and so on. 
Now you arrive in this way at no definite concept 
of an original Being available for a Theolog)* ; for 
this can only be found in the concept of the totality 
of perfections compatible with intelligence, and you 
cannot help yourself to this by merely empirical A^x^. 
But without such a definite concept you cannot infer 
a unique intelligent original Being ; you can only 
assume it (with whatever motive). — Now it may 
certainly be conceded that you should arbitrarily 
add (for Reason has nothing fundamental to say 
to the contrary) : Where so much |>erfcction is 
found, we may well assume that all perfection is 
united in a unique Cause of the world, because 
Reason succeeds better both theoretically and prac- 
tically with a principle thus definite. But then 
you cannot r^ard this concept of the original Being 
as proved by you, for you have only assumed it on 
behalf of a better employment of Reason. Hence 
ail lamentation or impotent anger on account of 
the alleged mischief of rendering doubtful the 
coherency of your chain of reasoning, is vain pr&i 
tentiousncss, which would fain have us believe thar 
the doubt here freely expressed as to your argument 
is a doubting of sacred truth, in order that under 
this cover the shallowness of your argument may 
pass unnoticed. 

Moral TeleoIog)% on the other hand, which is 
not less firmly based than physical, — which, indeed, 
rather deserves the preference because it rests 
a priori on principles inseparable from our Reason 
— leads to that which is requisite for the possibility 


of a Theolo^ry, viz. to a determinate concept of the 
supreme Cause, as Cause of the world according 
to moral laws, and, consequently, to the concept 
of such a cause as satisfies our moral final purjwse. 
For this are required, as natural properties belong- 
ing to it nothing less than Omniscience, Omni- • 
potence. Omnipresence, and the like, which must be 
thought as bound up with the moral final purpose 
which is infinite and thus as adequate to it. Hence 
moral Teleology alone can furnish the concept of 
a unique Author of the world, which is available 
for a Theology. 

In this way Theology leads immediately to 
Reli^on, i.e. the recognitiott of our duties as divine 
commands^ \ because it is only the recognition of 
our duty and of the final purpose enjoined upon 
us by Reason which brings out with definitcness 
the concept of God. This concept, therefore, is 
inseparable in- its origin from obligation to that 
Being. On the other hand, even if the concept 
of the original Being could be also found deter- 
niinatcly by the merely theoretical path (viz. the 
concept of it as mere Cause of nature)j it would 
afterwards be very difficult — perhaps impossible 
without arbitrary interpolation [of elements] — to 
ascribe to this Being by well-grounded proofs 
a causality in accordance with moral laws; and 
yet without this that quasi - theological concept 
could furnish no foundation for religion. Even if 
a religion could be established by this theoretical 
path, it would actually, as regards sentiment 
(wherein its essence lies) be different from that in 
which the concept bf God and the (practical) 
conviction of His Being originate from the funda- 
' [Cf. Kritik oi Practical Reason^ Dialectic, c, ii. § v.] 




mental Ideas of morality. For if we must suppose 
the Omnipotence, Omniscienct:, etc., of an Author 
of the world as concepts given to us from another 
quarter, in order afterwards only to apply our 
concepts of duties to our relation to Him, thc'n 
.these latter concepts must bear verj' markedly the 
appearance of compulsion and forced submission. 
If, instead of this, the respect for the moral law, 
quite freely, in virtue of the precept of our own 
Reason, represents to us the final purpose of our 
destination, we .idmit among our moral views a 
Cause harmonising with this and with its accomplish- 
ment, with the sincerest reverence, which is quite 
distinct from pathological fear; and we willingly 
submit ourselves thereto.' 

If it be asked why it is incumbent upon us to 
have any Theology at all. it appears clear that 
it is not needed for the extension or correction of 
our cognition of nature or in general for any theory, 
but simply in a subjective point of view for Religion, 
i.e. the practical or moral use of our Reason. It' 
it is found that the only argument which leads to 
a definite concept of the object of Theology is itself 
moral, it is not only not strange, but we miss 
nothing in respect of its final purpose as regards 
the sufficiency of belief from this ground of proof, 
provided that it be admitted that such an argument 

1 The admiration for beauty, and also the emoiion aroused by 
the manifold purposes of nature, which a retlcaivc raliid is able 
to feci c\-cn prior to a clear representation of a rational Author of the 
world, have something in themselves like rtUgwus feeling. They 
seem In the first place by a method of jud^jinj^ .-inaloiious to moral 
to produce an cffcci upon the moral feeling (gmtitudc to, and 
veneration for, the unknown Cause); and thus by excilinjf moral 
Ideas to produce an effect upon the mind, when they inspire that 
admirniion which is bound up with far more interest than mere 
theoretical obsen-aiion can bring about. 

tAPPKNnix I gi 



inly establishes the Being of God sufficiently for 
'our moral destination, i.e. in a practical point of 
view, and that here speculation neither shows its 
strength in any way, nor extends by means of it 
the sphere of its domain. Our surprise and the 
alleged contradiction between the here asserted 
possibility of a Theolog}* and that which the Kritik 
of speculative Reason said of the Categories — viz. 
that they can only produce knowledge when applied 
to objects of sense, but in no way when applied 
to the supersensible — vanish, if we see that they 
are here used for a cognition of God not in a 
theoretical point of view (in accordance with what 
His own nature, which Is inscrutable by us, may 
be) but simply in a practical. — In order then 
at this opportunity to make an end of the mis- 
interpretation of that very necessary doctrine of 
the Kritik, which, to the -chagrin of the blind 
dogmatist, refers Reason to its bounds, I add here 
the following elucidation. 

If I ascribe to a body motive force and thus 
think it by means of the category of causality, 
then I at the same time cognise it by that [category]: 
i.e. I determine the concept of it, as of an Object in 
general, by means of what belongs to it by itself 
(as the condition of the possibility of that relation) 
as an object of sense. If the motive force ascribed 
to it is repulsive, then there belongs to it (although 
I do not place near it any other body upon which 
it may e.xert force) a place in space, and moreover 
extension, i.e. space in itself, besides the filling 
up of this by means of the repulsive forces of 
its parts. In addition there is the law of this 
filling tip (that the ground of the repulsion of the 
parts must decrease in the same proportion as the 


A'Afrrs ftniTiA' of judgment 



extension of the body increases, and as the 
which it fills with the same parts by means of ih^ 
force, is aug^mented). — On the contrarj', if I thii^ 
a supersensible Being as the first mover, and tlius 
by the category of causality as regards its deter- 
mination of the world (motion of matter), I must 
not think it as existing in any place in space nor 
as extended ; I must not even think it as existiflfl 
in time or simultaneously with other beings. Hence 
I have no determinations whatever, which could 
make intelligible to me the condition of the possi- 
bility of motion by means of this Being as i 
ground. Consequently. I do not in the very leas 
cognise it by means of the predicate of Cause (as 
first mover), for itself; but I have only the re- 
presentation of a something containing the ground 
of the motions in the world; and the relation of 
the latter to it as their cause, since it does not 
besides furnish me with anything belonging to the 
constitution of the thing which is cause, leaves V^ 
concept quite em-ply. The reason of this is, that 
by predicates which only find their Object in the 
world of sense I can indeed proceed to the bein 
of something which must contain their ground, but n 
to the determination of its concept as a supcrsensi 
being: which excludes all those predicates. 
the category of causality, then, if I determine 
by the concept of a Jirsi mmrer, I do not in 
very least cognise what God is. Perhaps, howev 
I shall have better success if I start from 
order of the world, not merely to tJthtk its causality 
as that of a supreme Under standing, but to cognise 
it by means of this determination of the said co(fl 
cept ; because here the troublesome condition oP 
space and of extension disappears. — At all even] 




the great piirposiveness in the world compels us 
to think a supreme cause of it, and to think its 
:ausahty as that of an Understanding; but we are 
not therefore entitled to ascribe this to it. (Eg- 
we think of the eternity of God as presence in 
all time, because we can form no other concept 
of mere being as a quantum, te, as duration ; 
or we think of the divine Omnipresence as presence 
in all places in order to make comprehensible to 
ourselves His immediate presence in things which 
are external to one another ; without daring to 
ascribe to God any of these determinations, as some- 
thing cognised in Him.) If ] determine the causal- 
ity of a man, in respect of certain products which are 
only explicable by designed piirposiveness, by think- 
ing it as that of Understanding. I need not stop 
here, but I can ascribe to him this predicate as a 
well-known property and cognise him accordingly. 
For 1 know that intuitions are given to the senses 
of men and are brought by the Understanding 
under a concept and thus under a rule ; that this 
concept only contains the common characteristic 
(with omission of the particular ones) and is thus 
discursive ; and that the rules for bringing given 
representations under a consciousness in general 
are given by Understanding before those intuitions, 
etc. I therefore ascribe this property to man as a 
property by means of which I cogttise him. How- 
ever, if I wish to t/iirtk a supersensible Being (God) 
as an intelligence, this is not only permissible in a 
certain aspect of my employment of Reason — it is 
unavoidable; but to ascribe to Him Understanding 
and to flatter ourselves that we can cognise Him by 
means of it as a property; of His, is in no way per- 
missible. For I must omit all those conditions 



under which alone I know an Understanding, and 
thus the predicate which only serves for determining 
man cannot be applied at all to a supersensible 
Object ; and therefore by a causality thus determined, 
I cannot cognise what God is. And so it is 
with all Categories, which can have no significance 
for cognition in a theoretical aspect, if they are not 
applied to objects of possible experience. — How- 
ever, according; to the analojry of an Understanding 
I can in a certain other aspect think a supersensible 
being, without at the same time meaning tliereby to 
cognise it theoretically ; viz. if this determination of 
its causality concerns an effect in the world, which 
contains a design morally necessary but unattainable 
by a sensible being. For then a cognition of God 
and of His Being (Theology) is possible by means 
of properties and determinations of His causality 
merely thought In Him according to analogy, which 
has all requisite reality in a practical reference 
though only in respect of thU (as moral). — An 
Kthical Theology is therefore possible ; for though 
morality can subsist without theology as regards its 
rule, it cannot do so as regards the final design 
which this proposes, unless Reason in respect of 
it is to be renounced. But a Theological Ethic 
(of pure Reason) is impossible ; for laws which 
Reason itself does not give and whose observance it 
does not bring about as a pure practical faculty, 
cannot be moral. In the same way a Theological 
Physic would be a nonentity, for it would propose no 
laws of nature but ordinances of a Highest Will; 
while on the other hand a physical (properly speak- 
ing a physico-teleological) Theology can serve at 
least as a propaedeutic to Theology proper, by giving 
occasion for the Idea of a final purpose which 


nature cannot present by the observation of natural 
purposes of which it offers abundant material. It 
thus makes felt the need of a Theology which shall 
determine the concept of God adequately for the 
highest practical use of Reason, but it cannot develop 
this and base it satisfactorily on its proofs. 


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